Article

Kosovo debut ends in a draw

5 March 2014 21:07

Kosovo's first international appearance since declaring independence from Serbia six years ago ended in a 0-0 draw with Haiti on Wednesday.

The fixture was the breakaway territory's first to be approved by world governing body FIFA, and took place in Mitrovica in front of more than 17,000 fans at the Adem Jashari Stadium.

Kosovo is recognised as an independent state by over 100 countries, though not by Serbia or ally Russia.

That prevents them from becoming a fully fledged member of several sporting federations, including FIFA.

But the ruling body's emergency committee gave the go-ahead for the encounter on January 13, following lobbying from Kosovo Football Federation chairman, Fadil Vokrri, and negotiations with officials from Serbian football.

Despite there being no goals, Kosovo goalkeeper Samir Ujkani hailed the landmark occasion.

"It was fantastic, although if we had scored, everything would have been perfect," he is quoted as saying by FIFA.com.

As part of the negotiations, Kosovo were not allowed to fly the country's flag or play the national anthem before kick-off.

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