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Soccer

FIFA allows two former Albanian players to represent Kosovo

FIFA says it has approved two former Albania players to represent Kosovo in the national team’s World Cup debut

Alban Meha
Alban Meha, Former Albanian midfielder

Confusion over paperwork threatened to ruin Kosovo’s first qualifying match in Finland on Tuesday.

FIFA says its players’ status committee has cleared goalkeeper Samir Ujkani and midfielder Alban Meha. Four more players requested clearance before the 9:45 p.m. (1845 GMT) kickoff.

Kosovo’s entry into 2018 World Cup qualifying, after gaining FIFA membership in May, has tested rules on switching allegiance.

Rules to regulate dual nationality players have struggled with a new national team like Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

FIFA previously cleared nine Kosovo players who represented six different European countries.

Kosovo’s qualifying group also includes Croatia, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine.

The Balkan territory, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, became a FIFA member in May, promoting some Kosovans, who have played for other Nations, o ask to change teams.

Kosovo plays in Finland on Monday in a world cup 2018 qualification match.

FIFA confirmed it has applications pending that it is “investigating” but did not give a timescale.

Edited By Matthews Moraba

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