Despite the little grace that he does to the Government of Spain, tonight the anthem of Kosovo at the La Cartuja stadium. It will also display its flag. The rules of the FIFA They will prevail over politics, diplomacy and international law.
Since last December the pairing between the two teams for the 2022 World Cup qualification phase was known, there have been rumors of all kinds, since Spain is one of the countries that does not recognize the unilaterally split region of Serbia as a state. In 2008, it was said that you could not play, that if you did you would have to go to a neutral country, that if the game was finally played by Sevilla, the symbols of Kosovo could not be displayed …
The doubts increased when the Spanish Federation announced tonight’s rival as “Kosovo territory”. There was a formal complaint and a correction was requested, which had to be accepted.
The truth is that it is the FIFA regulations for the 2022 World Cup the only one to abide by, as he explained to ABC Toni Roca, director of the Sports Law Institute and specialist in sports law: “It is specified in article 25 of said regulation,” he says. “FIFA will determine the ceremonial elements to be used in each match and will provide the participating associations with guidelines for their implementation.”
Failure to do so, Spain risks a harsh sanction from FIFA, which does not admit differences in treatment between the federations that are part of its organization. “FIFA is a private body and has its rules,” explains Roca. «If you want to participate in the World Cup you have to stick to them. If you don’t, you run the risk of being expelled.
In La Cartuja the “hymn of Kosovo” will be announced, not that of the “Republic of Kosovo”. It is the maximum to which they can be welcomed in the Government. Another thing will be television. Already during the game against Georgia they referred to the “selection of the Kosovo Football Federation” to refer to the next opponent.
Toni Roca admits that the match can be used by sectors of Catalonia and the Basque Country to claim the official status of their teams from FIFA. “What is done in the sports field does not imply political recognition. You do not have to mix questions. Kosovo is not recognized by the international community. ‘
The duel, of course, is the first between the two teams in their history, and has generated enormous expectations in Kosovo, where Spanish football has a spectacular following. “Every game there is a party,” he tells ABC Jose Carpintero Molina, political scientist and researcher at the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, who knows the Kosovar reality well: «There is a lot of talk about the party with Spain. They see it as an opportunity for their reality to be known. It is their moment. Something similar happened when they were very close to qualifying for the Eurocup and played against England.
Molinero assures that everything Spanish moves masses in Kosovo: “In the whole region there is a lot of interest in Spain and in everything Latin. In music, culture … But there are also many people who master the language. They have never set foot in Spain, because they won’t let them, but thanks to television and football they know a lot about our country.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism