Membership of Kosovo in international sports federations

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Kosovo was a part of several international sports federations in the 1990s, and has applied to become a member of many more after its 17 February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. Serbia does not recognise the secession of Kosovo and considers it a United Nations-governed entity within its sovereign territory. Currently Kosovo is a full member of eight international federations, a provisional member of four, and an associated member of two. It is also a member of two European federations.

Accepted membership applications[edit]

The following sports federations have either admitted or have received the application from Republic of Kosovo to be admitted into their membership.

Entity Notes Status Date
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Kosovo is allowed to play international football with members of the FIFA (excluding all Former-Yugoslavian countries), as of January 13, 2014.[1] However, no national (state) symbols or anthem of Kosovo should be displayed beside the ones on the players' uniforms logo. The matches would have to be approved by the Serbian Football Federation. FIFA will work as an intermediary on this, having been notified at least 21 days in advance. Provisional 13 January 2014
European Minigolfsport Federation (EMF) Kosovo became a member of the EMF, April 2012.[2][3] Member 20 April 2012
International Archery Federation (FITA) FITA admitted Kosovo as a full member.[4][5] Member 1 July 2011
International Boxing Association (AIBA) Kosovo became AIBA's 195th federation in July 2012. Full membership status will be confirmed at a future meeting.[6] Provisional 9 July 2012
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) FILA admitted Kosovo as not full member but an associated federation.[7] Associate 9 June 2008
European Handball Federation (EHF) Kosovo became a full member federation of the European Handball Federation on 20 September 2014. It will compete in all national competitions with immediate effect. [8] Member 20 September 2014
International Judo Federation (IJF) The IJF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[9][10] Member 10 April 2012
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) The ISAF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[11] Member 8 May 2012
International Ski Federation (FIS) Kosovo has had observer status in the ISF since 2004, prior to DOI.[12][13] Provisional 7 November 2011
International Softball Federation (ISF) The ISF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[14] Member 12 August 2008
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Kosovo became a full member in 2003, prior to its declaration of independence.[12][15] Member 21 May 2003
International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) The IWF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[16][17] Member 18 June 2008
World Curling Federation (WFC) The WFC admitted the Kosovo Curling Federation as a provisional member at its 2012 annual general assembly in Scotland.[18] Provisional 21 October 2012
International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) The UIPM admitted the Kosovo Pentathlon Union as a full member at its 2013 Annual Congress in Cyprus.[19] Member 29 November 2013
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) The WTF admitted the Kosovo Taekwondo Federation at its 2013 Annual Congress.[20] Provisional 14 July 2013

Rejected membership applications[edit]

International Olympic Committee[edit]

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognise the Olympic Committee of Kosovo, created in 1992.[21] Although the president of the IOC's international relations commission announced on 17 February 2008 that the IOC was set to recognise Kosovo,[22] on the following day an IOC spokesperson specified the requirements that Kosovo needs to meet before IOC recognition, most notably its recognition as an independent state by the United Nations.[23]

Fédération Internationale de Football Association[edit]

In October 2008, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rejected the Football Federation of Kosovo's (FFK) application for affiliation, as it was deemed not to comply with article 10 of the FIFA statutes, which stipulates that only "an independent state recognised by the international community" may be admitted. As a result, Kosovo could not play any friendly FIFA matches,[24] and many Kosovan footballers play for other national teams, notably Albania's.[25]
In November 2009, FIFA organised a meeting between Kosovan officials, Serbian football associations and FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson, where practical issues were reportedly discussed, including the address to which letters about Kosovo football player transfers should be sent.[26]
In March 2011, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Kosovo could not join the football family before it was recognised by the United Nations.[27]
However, on 22 May 2012, FIFA said that its 208 member countries could start playing friendly internationals against teams from Kosovo. Sepp Blatter said, "Kosovo has organised football, so I think it is a logical gesture and solidarity and this decision by the FIFA executive committee will accelerate the movement towards membership".[28] As of 21 December 2012, FIFA member teams may play international friendly games with Kosovo teams of all ages and genders.[29]

FIFA Emergency Committee confirms friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo[edit]

Under article 83 of the FIFA Statutes, the FIFA Executive Committee has the right to authorise FIFA members to play matches against non-member associations, in this case the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK).

Following various meetings that have taken place since 2012, the FIFA Emergency Committee has today, 13 January 2014, confirmed a set of modalities of friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo.

The proposal was submitted to the FIFA Emergency Committee following a meeting between the President of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS), Tomislav Karadzic, and the President of the FFK, Fadil Vokrri, held at the Home of FIFA on 10 January 2014, which was chaired by FIFA President Blatter.

The following modalities of friendly games involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo have been approved and enter into force immediately: - FIFA member associations are allowed to play international friendly matches with clubs and representative teams of the FFK. - Clubs and representative teams of the FFK may not display national symbols (flags, emblems, etc.) or play national anthems. However, they are allowed to wear or display kit or equipment bearing the name 'Kosovo' as well as the symbol of a star of the size of the letter 'o' in the name 'Kosovo'. - Clubs and representative teams of the FFK may not play official or qualification matches while the FFK is not a member of FIFA. - Clubs and representative teams of the FFK may not play matches against clubs and representative teams of countries of the former Yugoslavia until further notice. - International friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of the FFK may be played on the territory of Kosovo provided that FIFA is informed in writing at least 21 days before each match. FIFA will in turn inform the Football Association of Serbia. - Any breach of this agreement will be referred to FIFA and the agreement will automatically come to an end.

“The decision taken by the FIFA Emergency Committee represents a major boost for football development in Kosovo and it once again confirms the extraordinary power of our sport to bring people together,” said FIFA President Blatter. [30]

Union of European Football Associations[edit]

On 13 November 2008, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini said that Kosovo must become a UN member before being allowed into the UEFA or FIFA.[31]

International Basketball Federation[edit]

On 26 April 2008, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) declined to admit the Basketball Federation of Kosova as a member because "Kosovo has not fulfilled all necessary conditions".[32] FIBA and FIBA Europe sports directors Ľubomír Kotleba and Kosta Iliev subsequently visited Kosovo in order to prepare a report for the FIBA Central Board. Kotleba said that "FBK does not need to do anything more to get accepted. If you ask me if Kosovo should be admitted by FIBA, then I say yes. But I don't know when this will happen. The decision for the admission of Kosovo will be taken somewhere else". FBK subsequently reapplied for FIBA membership; its application to be reviewed at the FIBA Central Board meeting on 6–7 December 2008.[33] At the meeting, it was decided that there were no grounds for FIBA to change its decision.[34]

International Ski Federation[edit]

On 30 May 2008, during the 46th International Ski Congress meeting in Cape Town, the International Ski Federation (FIS) decided Kosovo’s affiliation was dependent on its recognition by the UN and that "[in] the meantime, participation of their skiers is permitted at FIS level and children’s races."[35]

European Tennis Association[edit]

On 24 February 2010, the European Tennis Association rejected a membership application by the Tennis Federation of Kosovo.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FIFA Emergency Committee confirms friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo, FIFA Official Website, 13 January 2014 
  2. ^ "EMF members list"
  3. ^ Ministri Krasniqi: Minigolfi një shembull, jo vetëm në Kosovë, por edhe në rajon, për organizim të mirëfilltë, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo 2012-04-20 (in Albanian)
  4. ^ "146 Member Associations - FITA Directory" (pdf). International Archery Federation. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "FITA admit Kosovo as a full member". 
  6. ^ "Kosovo joins world boxing body as Balkan province uses sport to gain global recognition". Washington Post. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Official FILA site". 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2010-04-28. ]
  9. ^ Ministri Krasniqi takoi kryetarin e Federatës Ndërkombëtare të Xhudos, z. Marius Vizer, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo, 2012-04-20 (in Albanian)
  10. ^ The Kosovo Judo Federation was accepted as full member of the International Judo Federation, International Judo Federation, 2012-04-20
  11. ^ "Kosovo Become Latest ISAF Member National Authority". International Sailing Federation. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Kosovo faces uphill task for sporting recognition",, 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  13. ^ FIS Membership upgrade
  14. ^ "Kosovo Softball Federation wins international recognition" 14 August 2008 Link accessed 2008-08-14
  15. ^ ITTF Membership
  16. ^ "More recognitions for Kosovo sports" 28 June 2008 Link accessed 2008-06-28
  17. ^ IWF affiliates new members, International Weightlifting Federation
  18. ^ Kosovo Curling Federation becomes provisional world body member, Inside the Games, 21 October 2012
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "Sport in Kosova. The contribution of sport to the international projection of a country" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  22. ^ "IOC to recognise Kosovo". ANSA. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  23. ^ "IOC: Kosovo Olympic Team 'Unlikely'". Associated Press. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-20. [dead link]
  24. ^ "FIFA's finances solid" FIFA 24 October 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008.
  25. ^ "Kosovo's football chief to meet head of FIFA". New Kosova Report. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  26. ^ "Karadžić i Vokri rešavaju pitanje Kosova". Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  27. ^ Soccer Capsules: FIFA retains World Cup qualifying slots for 2014
  28. ^ "Kosovo moves a step closer to FIFA membership". Reuters. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  29. ^ Executive holds last meeting of the year in Tokyo, FIFA, 2012-12-14
  30. ^
  31. ^ Elitsa Vucheva (2008-11-13). "Kosovo status hinders football ambitions". Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  32. ^ "Meeting of the FIBA Central Board in Beijing", FIBA America, 26 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  33. ^ "FIBA delegation endorses Kosovo basketball". New Kosova Report. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  34. ^ "Nema osnova da FIBA promeni odluku" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  35. ^ "FIS - Decisions of the 46th International Ski Congress in Cape Town (RSA)", Sports Features Communications, 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  36. ^ "Kosovo bez članstva u ETA". 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-04-28.