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Crimean Football Union expects UEFA membership after Kosovo precedent

May 04, 2016, 15:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Kosovo was admitted to the UEFA at the organization’s Congress on Tuesday

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. The Crimean Football Union (CFU) is likely to become a member of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) considering the example of Kosovo, which was accepted to Europe’s governing body of football earlier this week, CFU President Yury Vetokha told TASS on Wednesday.

The CFU enjoys a special status within UEFA. The union held over the last summer and autumn the first part of its premier league. A total of eight teams from eight Crimean cities participated in the championship having played 56 matches in 14 rounds.

"Several delegates at the UEFA Congress expressed opinion that if the issue was raised in regard to Kosovo than something must be done in regard to Crimea as well," Vetokha said in an interview with TASS.

Kosovo was admitted to the UEFA at the organization’s Congress on Tuesday. The UEFA Congress approved the decision by a 28 majority vote, while 24 UEFA members, including the Russian Football Union (RFU), voted against. Two ballot papers were declared void.

"I personally do not see how our [Kosovo and Crimea] situations differ," Vetokha said. "It [Kosovo] is also an unrecognized republic. We held talks with our delegation and Frantisek Laurinec [UEFA’s special envoy for Crimea]. They clearly stated that there were agreements."

"[FIFA President] Gianni Infantino met with [Russian Sports Minister] Vitaly Mutko and they also discussed the issue of integrating Crimea into the world football. Certainly, integrate it step by step," the CFU president said.

"We do understand that it will not happen quickly, but we have fulfilled all of the set requirements," Vetokha said. "The ongoing developments speak for the fact that we are on the way [to join UEFA]."

The Republic of Kosovo is recognized partially. It is not a member of the United Nations. A total of 64 states, including Russia, China, India and Brazil do not recognize Kosovo.

At the IOC (International Olympic Committee) session in December 2014 Kosovo’s National Olympic Committee was unanimously granted the right to become a full-fledged member of the Olympic movement. After that a number of sports federations (of track and field athletics, basketball, volleyball, cycling and chess) of the self-proclaimed Kosovo Republic received temporary or permanent membership of the respective international organizations.

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