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News 23 May 12

UEFA Chief Reacts to FIFA's Kosovo Decision

UEFA President Michel Platini on Wednesday protested against FIFA's decision to allow the Kosovo team to play friendly matches.

B92, Tanjug
AP Photo/Yves Logghe

Platini was quoted as saying that the decision was "purely political" and he said it contravened UEFA statutes, .

The Executive Committee of the International Federation of Association Football, FIFA, decided on Tuesday to allow Kosovo to play friendly games at the recommendation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, despite opposition voiced by all eight members from the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA.

Blatter will meet Platini and the heads of the Football Alliance of Serbia, FSS, on Wednesday.

The FIFA decision came despite the fact that Kosovo is not a member of the UN, a requirement for full membership of FIFA.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a declaration that has never been recognised by  Belgrade.

On Tuesday, the FSS lodged a strong protest with FIFA, and said its representatives would travel to Budapest for meetings with Platini and Blatter over the issue on Wednesday.

The FSS protested  against "the decision by FIFA's executive committee to allow the world soccer governing body's members to play friendly matches with the so-called national team of the so-called Republic of Kosovo".

"The decision made behind closed door without any consultations with either UEFA or the Serbian Football Association blatantly contravenes the FIFA statutes," said an FSS statement. "Therefore, we have demanded an urgent meeting with Platini and Blatter. We will insist on reconsideration and reverse of this unjustified decision which could have far-reaching consequences across the region." 

A representative of the football association in Pristina has in the meantime told B92 that the FIFA decision is "final" and cannot be changed by UEFA.

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