UEFA to change statutes to allow Kosovo membership

uefa logoThe European football body UEFA plans to change its statutes to open the door for membership of Kosovo in spite of Serbia’s opposition, the Belgrade daily Politika said, citing “well informed sources.”

Presently, UEFA only allows membership for football associations from countries recognized as independent states by the United Nations.

But at its congress on Tuesday in Budapest it intends to change the definition in article 5 to states recognized by the majority of European nations, the newspaper reported, saying it saw the draft of UEFA’s new statute.

Politika said that Kosovo would immediately apply for membership at the Budapest congress.

A mostly Albanian former province of Serbia, Kosovo fought a war against Belgrade’s rule in 1998-99 and declared independence in 2008.

It has been recognized by most big Western countries and neighbours, but Serbia’s ally Russia vetoed its promotion to UN membership.

Kosovo’s Olympic Committee was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in December 2014. The IOC criterion for membership is “an independent State recognised by the international community.”

UEFA currently has 54 members, the latest in 2013 being the British Oversees Territory of Gibraltar, which is not recognized by FIFA or the IOC.

Source: GNA

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