Baku, May 3, AZERTAC
Kosovo was accepted as a member of UEFA on Tuesday, becoming the 55th member of European football’s governing body despite strong opposition from neighbouring Serbia, from which it declared independence in 2008, according to The Guardian.
UEFA’s annual congress voted by 28 votes to 24 to accept Kosovo’s application. Two votes were declared invalid.
Kosovo journalists outside the hall cheered the decision, which means teams from Kosovo can enter European club and national team competitions and paves the way for the republic to apply for FIFA membership.
Before the vote, the Serbian FA president Tomislav Karadzic had urged the Congress to reject the application, saying it was a case of politics interfering with sport.
“This is a political, not a footballing proposal,” he said. “We are facing a stern test, we must say no to politics, no to divisions that are maybe detrimental.
“It would create tumult in the region and open a Pandora’s box throughout Europe.”
Kosovo will apply next week to join Fifa and could play in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers if accepted.