UEFA asks task force to place Kosovo in World Cup qualifying group

New UEFA Secretary General, Theodore Theodoridis of Greece speaks during a press conference. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

BASEL, Switzerland — UEFA has asked a task force to report by May 31 on problems with placing Kosovo in a World Cup qualifying group.

UEFA interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis says one issue is potential matches against countries which do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

FIFA accepted Kosovo and Gibraltar as members last week and asked UEFA to find spaces in 2018 World Cup qualifying, which starts in September.

Vacant slots exist in the two five-team European groups.

One group includes Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus and Greece, which do not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

Ukraine, in the other group, also does not recognize Kosovo’s statehood.

In a further complication, UEFA says current FIFA advice indicates that Kosovo-eligible players with other national teams will be barred from switching allegiance.

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