The Football Association of Serbia (FAS) has had its appeal against the admittance of the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) into UEFA rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The FFK were granted membership of European football’s governing body at its Congress in Budapest on May 3 last year.
A total of 28 nations voted in favour of their application being accepted, with 24 against, including Serbia.
It marked a rare move as UEFA does not normally admit countries which are not part of the United Nations.
The decision paved the way for Kosovo to become a member of FIFA and they were formally recognised by football's world governing body at its Congress in Mexico City on May 13.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but this has been opposed by the Balkan country and a number of other nations, including Russia.
The FAS challenged the UEFA decision to CAS, arguing UEFA breached their own rules by admitting the FKK.
"The CAS Panel in charge of this matter noted that FAS had both standing to sue in this matter and reasonable cause to file its appeal, considering that the relevant provision of the UEFA Statutes (Article 5 (1)) was ambiguous and required clarification," the CAS decision read.
"Such provision states that membership of UEFA is open to national football associations situated in the continent of Europe, based in a country which is recognised by the United Nations (UN) as an independent state.
"Considering that there is no formal recognition of countries by the UN, the CAS Panel interpreted Art. 5 (1) UEFA Statutes as meaning that the territory in which the football federation is located shall be recognised by the majority of the UN member states as an “independent state.
"The CAS Panel found that this prerequisite was fulfilled with respect to FFK, and that such conclusion was also in line with the will expressed by the majority of the member federations at the UEFA Congress to accept FFK as a new UEFA member.
"As a consequence, FAS’ appeal was dismissed."
Following Kosovo’s acceptance by UEFA and then FIFA, they were placed into Group I of the FIFA World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018, which features Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey and Finland.
A number of players submitted a request to change teams to compete for Kosovo, with the vast majority coming from Albania.
Kosovo are currently last in their group, but earned their first point when they earned a draw against Finland in their first qualifier on September 5.