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Kosovo Becomes FIFA Member Before 2018 World Cup Qualifying

Kosovo and Gibraltar have become new members of world soccer's governing body, FIFA.

Kosovo was accepted as the 210th member after 141 delegates at FIFA's congress in Mexico City on May 13 approved membership and 23 voted against. Gibraltar became FIFA's 211 member in a 117-12 vote.

The vote means that Kosovo and Gibraltar can take part in the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups that kick off in September.

Serbia, from which Kosovo declared independence in 2008, has vowed to legally challenge the decision to admit Kosovo to FIFA.

Kosovo became a member of European soccer's governing body, UEFA, earlier this month.

Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo's independence, which is accepted by more than 100 United Nations member states.

FIFA and UEFA will likely need to separate Serbia's and Kosovo's national teams and clubs in competition draws.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and AP

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