The FIFA Council has today recommended that the FIFA Congress admit Kosovo and Gibraltar as the 210th and 211th FIFA members.
The Council, the supervisory and strategic body that sets the vision for FIFA and global football, took the decision at the start of two-day meeting ahead of the Congress in Mexico City on Thursday and Friday.
The decision follows last week’s ruling form the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS], which said Gibraltar must be admitted as a full member of FIFA “without delay”.
The agenda for the FIFA Congress had already been closed before the court delivered its ruling but the executive recommended that it now be amended to include Gibraltar and Kosovo’s membership applications.
“In line with the FIFA Statutes and based on the recent decision of CAS, the FIFA Council agreed to request the amendment of the agenda of the 66th Congress in order to submit the Gibraltar FA’s application for FIFA membership under point 15.2.,” FIFA said in a statement.
“The vote on the admission of the Football Federation of Kosovo precedes this under point 15.1.”
“The Council recommended that the Congress admit Kosovo and Gibraltar as the 210th and 211th FIFA members.”
“It was also confirmed that both associations, if admitted at the 66th Congress, would be entitled to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with UEFA tasked to define the modalities of their integration in the preliminary competition.”
Gibraltar first applied to join FIFA in 1991 and again in 1997, but both applications were rejected in large part as a result of pressure from Spain, which argued the Rock was a disputed territory that did not meet FIFA’s criteria for membership.
The CAS decision rejected that position and opened the door for Gibraltar’s national team to participate in qualifiers for the World Cup next September.