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Sat, 23 Nov 2019 01:00 GMT

Security Fears Force UEFA to Keep Apart Russia, Kosovo Teams in Competitions


7Dnews London

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:43 GMT

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have announced Friday, October 18th that all teams from Russia and Kosovo will not be allowed to face each other in the European competitions due to security fears.

"Having taken account of the security risks surrounding matches between teams from Russia and Kosovo, the UEFA Emergency Panel decided that the two teams shall no longer be drawn against each other in any future UEFA competitions until further notice," UEFA said in a statement.

AFP reported that Russia has never recognised Kosovo since its break from Serbia in 2008.

As Russia’s national football team already booked a place in the Euro 2020 finals and Kosovo are chasing a place, the decision could prove a major headache next year.

Russia qualified to the Euro 2020 finals after placing second in Group I with 21 points after playing eight games in the qualifiers, while Kosovo are still competing in Group A and are in third place in the group’s ranking with 11 points, four points behind the group’s leaders, England.

It is not the first time for UEFA to take the same decision, as they made it in 2014 when they agreed to keep Russia and Ukraine apart in tournaments following the Crimea crisis.

Meanwhile, the Women's Euro 2021 qualifiers between Russia and Kosovo will be played on neutral ground, according to the UEFA statement.

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