Russia, Kosovo teams to be kept apart, say UEFA

Teams from Russia and Kosovo will not be allowed to face one another in European competitions due to security fears.

Russia has never recognised Kosovo since its break from Serbia in 2008.   -  Getty Images

Teams from Russia and Kosovo will not be allowed to face one another in European competitions due to security fears, UEFA announced on Friday.

Russia has never recognised Kosovo since its break from Serbia in 2008.

“Having taken account of the security risks surrounding matches between teams from Russia and Kosovo, the UEFA Emergency Panel decided that the two teams shall no longer be drawn against each other in any future UEFA competitions until further notice,” said a UEFA statement.

However, the decision could prove a major headache next year with Russia already having qualified for the Euro 2020 finals while Kosovo are well-placed to also make it through.

The decision echoes a similar decision made in 2014 when UEFA agreed to keep Russia and Ukraine apart in tournaments following the Crimea crisis.

UEFA also said the scheduled Women's Euro 2021 qualifiers between Russia and Kosovo will be played on neutral ground.

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