The Football Federation of Kosovo’s (FFK) aim of being fully recognised on the international scene has moved a step closer after FIFA received their application for admission.
Kosovo’s potential membership of world football’s governing body has been added to the agenda for the body’s Congress in Mexico City, due to take place on May 12 and 13 and will be the first under new FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Their recognition will be voted on at the meeting in the Mexican capital, provided they are accepted as a member of UEFA at the organisation’s Congress in Budapest on May 3.
The country’s formal application for membership will feature on the agenda at the event in the Hungarian capital.
Kosovo’s club sides would be able to compete in UEFA tournaments, while its national team could be awarded a place in the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite the draw having already been held in Russia in July.
The Balkan country could potentially be added to one of Europe's two five-team groups, either pitting them against Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus in Group H, or Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey and Finland in Group I.
Kosovo are currently only allowed to play friendly matches organised by FIFA, with certain restrictions applying such as a ban on the country facing clubs and teams from countries of former Yugoslavia.
Banned UEFA President Michel Platini has previously suggested, however, that the country will only become a member if it is accepted by the United Nations.
“The issue of admission of the FFK to UEFA has been put on the agenda of the upcoming UEFA Congress taking place in Budapest on 3 May 2016,” a FIFA statement read.
“If the FFK is admitted to UEFA on that occasion and provided that the FFK’s application for admission to FIFA is considered complete and valid according to the relevant regulations, the FFK’s application for admission to FIFA may be voted on at the FIFA Congress in Mexico City on 13 May 2016.”
The FFK’s bid for recognition comes after the International Olympic Committee voted unanimously to accept Kosovo as a full member at its session in Monaco in December 2014.
Several International Federations, including the International Handball Federation and the World Baseball Softball Confederation, have recently recognised the country.
Kosovo, the Balkan Republic which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 following years of conflict, was accepted as a member of the Association of National Olympic Committees in October of last year.