Football Federation of Kosovo
The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK; Albanian: Federata e Futbollit e Kosovës; Serbian: Fudbalski Savez Kosova / Фудбалски Савез Косова) is the governing body of football in Kosovo,[a] with headquarters in Pristina. The Football Federation of Kosovo was established in 2008 and is currently headed by Fadil Vokrri. It organizes eight competitions of football in Kosovo:
- Superliga (the Superleague) with 12 clubs
- Liga e Parë (the First League) with 16 clubs
- Liga e Dytë (the Second League)
- Liga e Dytë Grupi i Veriut (the Second League North Group)
- Liga e Dytë Grupi i Jugut (the Second League South Group)
- Superliga - Juniorët
- Liga e Parë - Juniorët
- Kupa e Kosovës (the Kosovar Cup)
The Football Federation of Kosovo also organizes the:
On February 17, 2008 Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. A number of states such as France, the United States and the United Kingdom immediately recognised the new state. Others, such as Serbia, Russia and China are fiercely opposed to independence.
On May 6, 2008, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. "It's an historical moment for our country. We hope to be accepted.", said Fadil Vokrri, president of the FFK. Kosovo's applications was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zurich, in October 2008 when Kosovo was rejected membership in FIFA and denied right to play any friendly matches as it was deemed it does not comply with article 10 of the FIFA statutes, that only "an independent state recognized by the international community" may be admitted into FIFA. FIFA reverted that decision in May 22, 2012, stating that Kosovo may play other nations in international friendlies according to Article 79 of the FIFA Statutes. The Football Association of Serbia protested and felt the decision by FIFA's Executive Committee "blatantly contravenes the FIFA statutes". Three days later, permission was withdrew by FIFA and a decision was delayed following pressure from the Football Association of Serbia and Michel Platini.
In September 2012, Albanian international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Valon Behrami (all of them with Kosovar Albanian origin) wrote a declaration to the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow the Kosovo national team to be allowed to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by 5 other Albanian footballers. This came about as a consequence of the decision by FIFA not to allow the Kosovo team to play friendly matches against other national teams. In a meeting held in May 2012, FIFA decided to allow friendly matches to be played, a decision it later revoked following a strong protest issued by Football Association of Serbia. A new meeting was planned to be held at FIFA on September 27 and 28 same year in which the Kosovo issue was again planned to be discussed, which was then postponed until December.
In February 2013, FIFA announced that they would allow Kosovo to play against other nations in non-official competitions at youth and amateur level, female international level, and at club level providing that they did not display national symbols on the kit such as a national flag or play a Kosovar national anthem. If the FFK wished for Kosovo to play a game within the Kosovo region, they would require permission to play from the Football Association of Serbia. The first competition that a Kosovar national team entered was the Valais Youth Cup in which the Kosovo Under 21 national team participated, losing on penalties after a 2-2 with Ghana and losing 8-0 to Egypt in the third place playoff.
The Football Associations of Serbia and Kosovo met with FIFA on 10 January 2014 to discuss whether Kosovo should be allowed to play friendlies against other FIFA member associations at full international level. On 13 January 2014, FIFA issued a public statement stating that Kosovo would be allowed to play international friendlies against full FIFA members. FIFA maintained that the Kosovar playing kit should not contain national symbols nor should a Kosovar national anthem be played. FIFA also required that they acted as the intermediary between Serbia and Kosovo, and Kosovo would need to give 21 days notice should they wish to a host a game. 
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
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- New competition system approved by FFK (FFK) (May 18, 2009)
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- "FIFA's finances solid". FIFA. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "FIFA ExCo makes reform progress and Audit and Compliance Committee appointment". Media Release. FIFA.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
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- "Cana, Šaćiri, Džaka i Behrami pisali Blateru zbog Kosova" (in Serbian). Sportski žurnal. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
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- "FIFA Circular no.1342". FIFA.com. 6 February 2013.
- "FIFA Emergency Committee confirms friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo". FIFA.com. 13 January 2014.
- Football Federation of Kosovo Official website