Kosovo "disappointed" with partial FIFA acceptance and push for full membership

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
By Andrew Warshaw

Kosovo Football FederationDecember 18 - Kosovo's Football Federation (FFK) is to push for full membership of FIFA after receiving only partial acceptance from football's world governing body.

Last week, Kosovo, which is not a FIFA member, was given permission to play friendly matches at "youth, amateur, women's and club football" level.

However, no mention was made of the breakaway Balkan state being cleared to play friendly internationals at senior level against member FIFA nations.

FIFA had agreed in principle last May to allow Kosovo to do just that but pulled back following opposition from Serbia and UEFA President Michel Platini.

Kosovo has been out of world football since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008 as it is not recognised by the United Nations.

"The FIFA Executive Committee decision is an important decision because it recognises Kosovo's role and participation in international football," said FFK President Fadil Vokrri in a statement sent to Reuters.

"We will make the best out of it for the good of our players, teams and clubs.

"But that decision is disappointing and not fully satisfactory because it seems to exclude the top national team for unexplained reasons."

Michel Platini UEFAFIFA pulled back on accepting Kosovo following opposition from Serbia and Michel Platini

Kosovo has not previously requested full FIFA membership but that will now change.

"The FFK will present its request for affiliation to FIFA which is the logical step since the majority of the United Nations member states, 97, have recognised Kosovo," the FFK said.

"One hundred and eighteen of FIFA's 209 member associations represent countries and territories having recognised Kosovo, meeting the criteria defined in...the FIFA statutes for the affiliation."

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