Teams from Kosovo and Russia will be separated in competitions under the auspices of UEFA. The emergency panel of UEFA met on 16 October to discuss the situation in the matches between the teams from Kosovo and Russia.
The problem arose because the women’s national teams of Kosovo and Russia were in the same qualifying group in the framework of UEFA women’s Euro 2021. As is known, Russia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence.
UEFA decided that the qualifying matches of Euro-2021 among women between the two teams are already scheduled in group A, will be organized by the two associations on a neutral field.
UEFA also said that, “taking into account the security risks associated with matches between teams from Russia and Kosovo, the Extraordinary group agreed that these two teams will no longer oppose each other on any future UEFA competitions”.
What do we know about Kosovo?
Kosovo is a partially recognized Balkan state. Full recognition of Kosovo’s independence is hindered by the fact that it is not recognized by Serbia itself, from part of the territory which the seceded state.
The reasons for the secession of Kosovo was just a few:
- ethnic – the majority of Kosovars (about 92%) were Albanians;
- religious – the Kosovars and Albanians are Muslim, and the main religion of Serbia is Christian Orthodoxy;
- political – politics Kosovo is different from Serbia, which is an active supporter of Russia.
By the way, Ukraine still has not officially recognized Kosovo’s independence, taking the position of waiting in 2008. While Kosovo is in solidarity with the EU and the United States in 2014, supported the imposition of sanctions against Russia, which invaded the territory of Ukraine.
Note that in the framework of the selection for the world Cup 2018, Kosovo came in the same group with the Ukrainian team. The matches were organized on neutral territory.
Likely that Kosovo and Russia will be divided in the group stage of Euro 2020. The Russians have already qualified for the European championship, when the Kosovars continue to struggle.
If Kosovo will be released on the European championship, the team have a chance to play in the round of the playoffs. One of the matches of the playoffs will be held in Russia.