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Change of association to the Football Federation of Kosovo

(FIFA.com)
The President of the Football Federation of Kosovo, Fadil Vokrri pose with the FIFA pennant
© Getty Images

The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) was admitted as a new member association of FIFA on 13 May 2016 and ahead of its participation in the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the FFK submitted a series of requests for change of association concerning players who had previously already represented another association in international matches in an official competition.

In accordance with the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes, specifically art. 8 par. 3, the Single Judge of the Players' Status Committee granted several requests for change of association to the FFK, as such requests fully complied with the conditions stipulated in art. 8 par. 1 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes. In particular, the players concerned had never played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at "A" international level for their previous association, and they were holders of the Kosovar nationality prior to their first appearance in an international match in an official competition for their previous association.

The FFK had also submitted several requests for change of association concerning players that had already played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at “A” international level for their previous association. Given that the specific circumstances concerning the new admission of FFK as a new member association to FIFA and the players potentially eligible to play for it appear not to be conclusively governed in the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes, specifically in relation to players who already played a match in an official competition at “A” international level for their current association, the decision on whether or not to grant a change of association to a player rests with the competent deciding body, the FIFA Players’ Status Committee.

In this respect, the Bureau of the Players’ Status Committee has granted several requests for change of association to the FFK after considering the particularities of the cases concerned and deeming that given the circumstances of the matter at stake, a more lenient approach was necessary. Therefore, in this particular case, the deviation from the strict application of the objective and mandatory prerequisites as stipulated in art. 8 par. 1. of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes seems to be justified.

In particular, the Bureau of the Players’ Status Committee wished to emphasise that the players concerned had not represented their previous association after 13 May 2016, the date of admission of the FFK to FIFA. In other words, they never chose to play for their previous association when they had the opportunity to choose to play for the representative teams of the FFK.

The Bureau of the Players’ Status Committee indicated that this was a key element in its decision on the matter.

All of the above indications are based on the jurisprudence available so far and are without prejudice to the appreciation of future similar matters.

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