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FIFA allows Kosovo to play friendly matches

Moscow: Russia has questioned FIFA`s decision to allow Kosovo`s (which is not a member of FIFA) national team to play friendly matches.

"If I were present at the voting, I would have never supported the FIFA decision," Russian sports minister said.

"There are common football rules which clearly state that only football organizations of countries recognized by the United Nations could be FIFA members. It`s hard for me to say what stood behind the FIFA decision on this matter. However, they`ve created a precedent."

"Now, Abkhazia and South Ossetia can apply to FIFA with the same request. They may face double standards. One should be guided by common sense. They`ve created a conflict situation which no one needs in fact," Vitaly Mutko emphasized.

FIFA`s decision enables Kosovo`s national team to play football friendly matches. That created tensions between the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Serbia`s Football Union.

FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke has invited President of Serbia`s Football Union Tomislav Karadzic and UEFA representatives to meet at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich (Switzerland) on May 31st.

In his letter, Valcke wrote that representatives of European countries had abstained from voting at the FIFA executive committee.

"At the same time, the FIFA executive committee made it clear that the decision to hold friendly matches should not be considered as a step towards FIFA membership because it was dictated by different motives," Valcke went on to say.

He added that FIFA President Joseph Blatter was allegedly guided by the interest of developing and expanding the geography of football when he was making a decision on Kosovo`s team.

Earlier this week, UEFA President Michel Platini expressed his indignation with Blatter`s behavior who had passed a political decision which has got nothing to do with football on his own without consulting with anybody.

For his part, Tomislav Karadzic also criticized the decision of the FIFA leadership which was passed behind the closed doors in the absence of representatives of Serbia`s Football Union.

PTI

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