Kosovo boosted before World Cup opener as FIFA lets players switch

World Cup debutants Kosovo are being boosted Monday before their first-ever qualifier against Finland as players are still being assessed for eligibility, world governing body FIFA said.

Kosovo were only admitted to FIFA in May this year after winning a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the world governing body replied to a dpa enquiry saying the process of switching players' nationality was ongoing.

Former Swiss forward Albert Bunjaku and Albanian midfielder Alban Meha are among those approved to play for Kosovo in their World Cup debut against Finland in Turku later Monday despite previously earning international caps elsewhere.

Players eligible for Kosovo had to develop their international careers with other countries - such as Albania, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland - but have been allowed to apply to switch. The FIFA player status committee then makes the decision on whether this is allowed.

Usually FIFA does not permit players to change their international team once they have played a competitive fixture for the country.

Kosovo were added to Group I in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and face Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine and Turkey in addition to Finland.

Last update: Mon, 05/09/2016 - 16:04
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