Who is Serbia to Force UEFA and FIFA to Change Their Rules?

“Kosovo voted into FIFA at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico on 13 May 2016.” [FIFA]

Simply, this is the current result of the Kosovo Football Federation against Serbia’s Football Association headed by its president Tomislav Karadzic. For ten days,underlined that the Kosovo Football Federation president Fadil Vokrri managed to “crush” all several past years of the Serbian Football Association attempts in preventing of the membership of Kosovo in international sport organizations and associations.

There’s no doubt that Kosovo’s Membership in UEFA (May 3, 2016) and in FIFA (May 13, 2016) was a great historical victory not only for Kosovo’s football, but for international football because both UEFA at its 40 Congress in Budapest and FIFA at its 66 Congress in Mexico City of Mexico triumphed over Serbia’s political propaganda. Serbia alleged that these two international football federations violated their statutes and regulations accepting Kosovo as their new member.

Serbia’s political accusation is false and malicious because UEFA and FIFA didn’t violate their rules and statutes. They proved that their decisions in the case of Kosovo, were quite legal and in full compliance with their regulations and statutes as well as in spirit of the cooperation and affirmation of European and international football around the globe

So, we are grateful to UEFA and FIFA that accepted Kosovo as their new member.

In Mexico City at the 66th FIFA Congress, Kosovo – Serbia 2:0!

fifa accepts kosovo as member.
FIFA accepts Kosovo as member.

Indeed, this is a great victory not only for Kosovo’s football, but for all international football. UEFA and FIFA didn’t allow the Serbian anti-albanian political propaganda to politicize themselves as well as to change their statutes in order to refuse the legal request of the Kosovo Football Federation.

What kind of “superpower” is Serbia to dictate that UEFA and FIFA change or modify their statutes to accept and carry out theoretically and practically Serbia’s political demands and interests to not accept Kosovo as their member?

This is an absurd and paradox request of Serbia that cannot be justified on any account by UEFA and FIFA.

Serbia must behave according to international laws!

Serbian Football Association should not forget that sport isn’t politics, therefore it immediately ought to give up its dirty and shamelessness attempts to provoke and blame politically and legally both UEFA and FIFA for allegedly breakingnot forget their rules granting full membership to the Republic of Kosovo. There was no such case as Serbia’s Football Association top official representatives Tomislav Karadzic and Zeljko Kojic have misinterpreted, warning UEFA and FIFA that they will appeal the decisions of membership of Kosovo.

So long as Serbia is a full member of the UEFA and FIFA she hasn’t juridical capacity to impact in changing or modifying their statutes and rules in order to meet its traditional hegemonic and colonial interests and negative ambitions toward Kosovo.

Indeed, it’s not realistic, reasonable, or possible that Serbia seeks to impose its internal law and Constitution to Europe and the world to change or modify the international juridic positive order, international law norms and principles. Neither can they change the United Nations Charter’s Purposes and Principles with intention to preserve and further promote its hegemonism and colonialism toward the independent and sovereign state of the Republic of Kosovo (Febryary17, 2008).

It is clear and understandable that Serbia isn’t obliged to vote for Kosovo membership in UEFA and FIFA or in other international sport organizations and associations, but being that she’s a subject of international law, as well as a member of the United Nations and OSCE etc., legally is obliged that its internal laws and constitution to accommodate to international laws and New World Order (1989-2016).

Serbia Must Not Interfere

With a word, Serbia must refrain from its interfering in the internal affairs of the Republic of Kosovo and other neighbor countries in the Balkans.

Serbia should be aware and take into account the significant fact that we aren’t living in 1914 when she was the main cause of the breakout of the First World War. We are in the 21st century (2016) where we have globalization, integrations, pluralism, cosmopolitism, free markets, democracy, human rights, cooperation and peace between all nations around of the world.

Serbia’s “arguments” Against Kosovo in UEFA and FIFA

According to Serbian football representatives who participated in both UEFA and FIFA congresses in Budapest (May 3rd ) and in Mexico City (May 13th) thre are several “arguments” under which UEFA and FIFA shouldn’t accept the Kosovo Football Federation as their member:

  1. Serbia didn’t yet recognize Kosovo as an independent state;
  2. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (2006), Kosovo is still a province of Serbia;
  3. Under UN Resolution 1244 on Kosovo (June 10, 1999), Kosovo is a part of the integral territory of Serbia;
  4. Kosovo is a ‘cradle’ of the Serbs and Serbia … etc.

As above, it’s true that independent Kosovo isn’t recognized yet by the former colonial Serbia(1912-1999) and the United Nations Security Council due to Russia’s VETO. But according to the United Nations International Court of Justice, (July 22, 2010) Kosovo has the right to be an independent and sovereign state because it didn’t violate International Law principles and norms.

Historically and legally, Kosovo has never been part of Serbia’s territory, but only colonial plunder (1912-1999) annexed by agression, terror, cleansing, deportations, genocide, killings and displacing of the hundreds and millions Albanians from Kosovo and the other parts of Ethnic Albania (Preseva, Bujanoci, Medvegja, Bllaca, Kurshumlia, Nishi, Leskoci, Vraja etc.).

Therefore, Serbia doesn’t have any moral and legal right to lie to Europe and the world that “Kosovo is Serbia’s territory” because has never been. The truth is this: for 100 hundred years (1912-1999) Kosovo was only an illegal colony of Serbia neither more nor less.

Therefore Serbia has no legal right to agitate abroad to accept or reject Kosovo as a new member, be it in UEFA or FIFA. In 1999, Kosovo was liberated from colonial and genocidal Serbia, thanks to the United States and NATO (March24 – June10, 1999).

So, Serbia doesn’t need to weep, complain and blame the international community nor UEFA, FIFA, America, EU, NATO allies as well as the other 112 countries that recognized Kosovo as independent state.

Serbia should be conscious that it cannot be based on the United Nations Resolution 1244 on Kosovo, because legally it’s invalid since Kosovo became independent on February 17, 2008.

Also Serbia ( politics, diplomacy, propaganda as well as the whole sport associates, science, academics and church) should take into account the fact that they can’t change the rules of Europe and the international community with the intention to convince them that “Kosovo is the cradle of Serbia.”

This an ancient mythological lie nobody believes, even the progresive, democrat and visionary Serbs own.

Therefore, it is time that Serbia needs to give up its colonial, neocolonial and hegemon politics toward Kosovo and the other neighbor countries.

If Serbia wants to become a part of the European Union (UE) and NATO, first of all it must recognize the Republic of Kosovo because this is a condition for Serbia to join the EU.

This mentioned condition for Serba, is confirmed and the Vice-President of the European Parliament Urike Lunaccek underlined that : “I’m not an enemy of Serbia, but it is certain that Serbia would not join the EU without recognizing of Kosovo.”

It is the right time and rational political decision that Serbia recognize the Republic of Kosovo, as did 112 other countries of the United Nations. Only this acceptable political option could support the acceleration membership of Serbia to open the main doors of the European Unionin (EU) as well as to reconcile with Albanians, and normalize relations with the Republic of Kosovo.

Otherwise, Serbia cannot become the full member of the European Union(EU). But, it is up to official Belgrade to decide if Serbia wants to be part of the EU or be isolated from its current integration processes.

Mehdi Hyseni is an Albanian Ph.D. in International Political Relations, residing in Boston.