The meeting between Spain and Kosovo , valid for the qualification of the Qatar 2022 World Cup and scheduled for March 31 in Seville, is involved in a harsh controversy that has put its celebration at risk. The Kosovar federation threatened on Tuesday not to appear at the meeting after the mention of the place as a territory, instead of as an independent state, in the tweet of the Spanish Football Federation in which it announced the appearance of Luis Enrique next Monday to announce the call for the match, and the clashes against Greece and Georgia, also of World Cup classification
Federal sources indicate that the denomination of territory was used in the tweet following the recommendation of the Government through Foreign Affairs and in coordination with the Higher Sports Council (CSD). Kosovo declared itself independent from Serbia in 2008 unilaterally and is currently recognized as a state by 98 countries, including the vast majority of the members of the European Union, but not by Spain. In 2016, FIFA and UEFA admitted Kosovo as a full member.
The federation assures that its relationship with its Kosovar counterpart is very good and that this Wednesday the presidents of both institutions had a very positive and cordial conversation, after the that the body that governs Spanish football will abide by what the FIFA and UEFA regulations say in terms of nomenclature, anthem and flag. The Kosovo federation also issued a new statement on Wednesday in which it stated that the Spanish federation guaranteed that the match will be played under normal conditions under UEFA and FIFA.
regulations. Not only the nomenclature has been the reason for the conflict. The Kosovo federation also demanded in its first statement that its flag and the official anthem be used at the La Cartuja stadium. His note concluded: “The UEFA and FIFA criteria are crystal clear and Spain knows it, so what is said and written does not change these rules and will in no way change them. If they want to justify themselves in front of the national media it is their problem, but Kosovo will not make any concessions: we will only play according to the strict criteria and rules of UEFA, with the national anthem and the flag; otherwise, the match will not be played. ”
The background of the Executive of Pedro Sánchez has been restrictive in this regard. In September 2019, with Josep Borrell in charge of Foreign Affairs, Spain left a meeting with the representatives of the 27 EU countries when Kosovar diplomacy entered the room. In May 2020, Sánchez was present by videoconference at a European summit on the Balkans in which the president of the Kosovar republic also participated, although there were no flags.
The diplomatic conflict already surfaced when the pairing was known last December 7 . Then, the federation had the possibility of avoiding the confrontation with Kosovo if it had made use of the same restrictions, allowed by UEFA and FIFA, that it applied in order not to be framed with Gibraltar.