BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbia reacted with outrage against UEFA's decision to accept the former province of Kosovo as its 55th member, saying Tuesday it will fight the decision by all legal means.
Serbia's Foreign Ministry said UEFA's 28-24 vote in favor of Kosovo's acceptance "is a warning that we live in the world of interest and politics, and not justice and rules."
Ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia, with the help of its Slavic ally Russia, has vowed never to accept it and has blocked it from joining the United Nations.
Serbian officials said they will file a complaint with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport because, they said, Kosovo's membership is against UEFA's statutes.
Kosovo has sought international recognition through sports since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. UEFA supported Kosovo's case after resisting previous efforts by FIFA in 2012 to let its national and clubs teams play opponents from other countries.
After Tuesday's decision by UEFA, Kosovo could now be fast-tracked into FIFA and the 2018 World Cup qualifying program. The country needs to be accepted as a FIFA member before it can enter a qualifying group.
FIFA's ruling council meets in Mexico City on Monday, and can send Kosovo's application for a decision by the FIFA congress four days later.