FIFA postpones decision on teams from Kosovo

ZURICH -- The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) postponed the decision on whether to allow Kosovo teams to play friendly games.

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This was announced following Friday's meeting in Zurich with representatives of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) and Kosovo's Football Federation.

FSS officials said they were pleased with Friday's meeting, voicing confidence that members of the FIFA emergency and executive committees will make a decision based on the framework presented by the Serbian side.

"After the representatives of the two delegations presented their positions, the top FIFA officials informed those attending the meeting that a decision on this matter will be discussed and taken at the upcoming meetings of the organisation's top bodies - the FIFA Emergency Committee meeting, to be held next week, and the Executive Committee meeting, scheduled for mid-March," said a statement published on the FSS website.

The meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich was chaired by the organisation's President Joseph S. Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

The FSS said that its representatives presented the positions of the relevant state authorities.

"As a matter of principle, the positions that were presented today by FSS representatives are based on the impossibility and non-acceptance of the so-called Football Federation of Kosovo being admitted to FIFA and UEFA until the status of the southern province is resolved in the United Nations. Furthermore, any official international matches played by clubs or national teams from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija are unacceptable," the FSS said.

A year ago, the FIFA Executive Committee allowed youth teams from the territory of Kosovo to play friendly matches "without any symbols."

Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said earlier that he expected "great pressure" related to the FIFA decision.

"Unacceptable"

The Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sports stated on Friday that it is unacceptable that Kosovo football selections and clubs are playing official international games.

Following Friday's meeting in Zurich with representatives of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) and Kosovo's football federation, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) postponed the decision on whether to allow Kosovo teams to play friendly games.

“We expect that the pressures on Serbia will continue, but we find it unacceptable for the Kosovo football federation to be admitted to FIFA and UEFA. The UEFA statute clearly states that the membership in this organization is allowed to national football associations only if the country is recognized by the UN as an independent state,” Tanjug was told in the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“We find it unacceptable that any official matches are staged for the clubs and selections from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija in the international context. In case of friendly matches with the countries whose governments have recognized Kosovo and Metohija, Serbia's stance is that there should be no national symbols - flag, anthem, coat of arms,” the ministry said.

The clubs and players registered with FSS and located in Kosovo will remain full members of the Serbian association and the regulations of this association will apply to them.