Spain tells Kosovo it will respect UEFA rules for qualifier

March 10

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo’s soccer federation said Wednesday its Spanish counterpart has expressed regret for referring to the Balkan country as a “territory” and promised to host an upcoming World Cup qualifier between the teams in accordance with all UEFA rules.

The Kosovo federation had earlier warned that it wouldn't play the March 31 game in Seville unless Spain pledged to respect the Balkan country’s sovereignty, including its anthem and flag.

Spain does not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 independence from Serbia.

Agim Ademi, head of the Kosovo federation, said in a statement that he had a phone call on Wednesday with Spanish federation officials who promised that the game “will be held in line with the FIFA and UEFA rules and protocol."

Ademi said UEFA officials also gave the same assurances.

The federation had taken issue with the Spanish national team’s references, in a press release and on Twitter, to Kosovo as a “territory,” calling them “unacceptable.”

Kosovo and Spain are in Group B together with Sweden, Greece and Georgia. Greece and Georgia also do not recognize Kosovo as an independent nation.

Two years ago, Spain’s refusal to respect the flag and anthem of Kosovo forced UEFA to move qualifying games in soccer’s under-17 European Championship.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces ended following a 78-day NATO air campaign that drove Serb troops out and a peacekeeping force moved in.

Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s independence, and the country became a UEFA and FIFA member in 2016.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



share story

Denver Broncos: Latest Aaron Rodgers updates after OTAs There are training camp battles brewing at just about every position (including quarterback), roster spots to be decided, and plenty of new...
5 MINS AGO PREDOMINANTLYORANGE.COM
Denver Broncos: Was it a mistake not to sign Tom Brady? The Denver Broncos are—at least right now—rolling with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterbacks heading into the 2021 season. T...
5 MINS AGO PREDOMINANTLYORANGE.COM
Texas Football: OV with 5-Star CB Denver Harris hit the bulls eye There is only one more visit weekend that remains this month before another dead period arrives around the college football recruiting lands...
5 MINS AGO HOOKEMHEADLINES.COM
Twins put win streak on line as J.A. Happ faces Cincinnati's Tyler Mahle Twins bench coach Mike Bell's memory will be honored tonight at Target Field.
6 MINS AGO STARTRIBUNE.COM