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FIFA allows Kosovo to play friendly matches

Kosovo is allowed to play friendlies against FIFA member-states at club and international level with some limitations.

Last updated: 14 Jan 2014 15:49
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Kosovo has been given the permission six years after it declared independence from Serbia [Getty Images]

Kosovo is to be allowed to play friendly matches against FIFA member-states at club and international level with some limitations, according to world football's governing body.

The permission was a big step forward for Kosovo to start competing at international level six years after it declared independence from Serbia.

"Following various meetings that have taken place since 2012, the FIFA Emergency Committee has today...confirmed a set of modalities of friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo," FIFA said.

"Clubs and representative teams of the (Football Federation of Kosovo) may not display national symbols (flags, emblems, etc.) or play national anthems."

Kosovo will still not be allowed to play matches against clubs and representative teams of countries of the former Yugoslavia until further notice.

Many athletes from Kosovo have chosen to move abroad and compete for adopted countries in order to take part in major sporting events which are still out of reach for Kosovo given that it is yet to become a member of the UN.

The country with more than 90 percent Albanian population got the go-ahead after a series of meetings with the leadership of the Serbian Football Association and FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

"The decision...represents a major boost for football development in Kosovo and it once again confirms the extraordinary power of our sport to bring people together," Blatter said.

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Source:
Reuters
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