3 May 2016
Kosovo has become UEFA’s 55 member with immediate effect after a voting process of UEFA’s Football Federations during the 40th UEFA Congress, held in Budapest. The proposal made by the UEFA received 28 pro votes, 24 Federation representatives voted against the membership of Kosovo in UEFA while 2 votes were considered as invalid.
Before the voting process, several members of the UEFA were skeptic about Kosovo’s request to become a UEFA member due to the fact that Kosovo is not yet a United Nations country member and according to the UEFA’s Declaration, Article 5, a country must be a member of UN to join the UEFA.
Many members and UEFA officials discussed the Article 5 and were of the opinion that Kosovo’s request to become a UEFA member should not be seen as a political issue but rather as a sports one. The fact that Kosovo is not a member of the UN cannot stop the country to join UEFA.
After the announcement of the decision by the UEFA President, the head of Kosovo’s Football Federation, Fadil Vokrri, held a speech and thanked the Federations who supported Kosovo. Even Red and Black fans, a football organization headquartered in Tirana, Albania, said in a Facebook update that now Kosovo and Albania and a step closer in merging the two countries’ leagues into one.
This is a historic day for Kosovo because the membership into an organization as UEFA means that the country’s possibilities to get the recognition of more countries in order to join the UN and other important organizations, are increasing day by day.