FIFA Talks on Kosovo’s Football FuturePristina | 06 November 2009 | Lawrence Marzouk
Kosovo’s Football Association has met FIFA and UEFA to negotiate the country’s footballing future on the international stage.
Kosovo's Football Federation
But hopes that the discussion, held in Zurich on Thursday, would bring together the associations of Serbia and Kosovo did not materialise after officials from Belgrade pulled out.
The international and European federations agreed to put the issue of transferring players from Kosovo to other leagues to a vote when the executive committee of FIFA meets for its annual meeting in December.
But no concrete progress was made on Kosovo’s key demand – membership of the international football community.
Kosovo’s football team is currently unable to participate on the international stage because to become a member of FIFA and UEFA it must first secure a seat at the United Nations. Currently Kosovo’s declaration of independence has been recognised by 62 countries.
FIFA confirmed to Balkan Insight that contrary to earlier media reports, no Serbian officials were present.
Serbia’s football association had confirmed on 3 November that the president of the association, Tomislav Karadzic, would talk with representatives of the football association of Kosovo.
But Serbia told FIFA five days later that its representatives would not attend the meeting.
In a letter to FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke, the Serbian FA wrote: “Regarding your call to the meeting, we would like to inform you that talks on the issue have been held with all the relevant figures within the Serbian FA. According to the stances, which were expressed on the issue during the talks, we inform you that we are unable to accept the invitation for the proposed meeting.”
Following the meeting on Thursday, Valcke confirmed that the issue of Kosovo’s full membership was raised, but that Kosovo must first secure a seat at the UN.