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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 12:38 GMT
Gibraltar close in on Uefa place
The Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock is the signature of Gibraltar
Gibraltar has been named as a provisional member of Uefa after seven years of campaigning.

European soccer's chiefs said they had "no choice" but to allow Gibraltar provisional membership after a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS ordered Uefa to comply with Gibraltar's request after the applicants appealed to the court.

Spain had opposed the application that must now be ratified by the Uefa congress in January.

A Uefa statement said: "The Uefa executive committee has duly taken note of the CAS award of 6 July and had no choice but to admit the Gibraltar FA as a provisional member.

"Furthermore, the Uefa executive committee has also taken note of the decision of the Fifa executive committee."

I'm sure the Spanish FA will press other members to vote against Gibraltar

Gibraltar FA president Joe Nunez

Spain disputes the sovereignty of the British overseas territory and the Spanish FA had submitted papers opposing Gibraltar's inclusion.

And in 2000, the Spanish Football Federation said it radically opposed Gibraltar's membership of the organisation and would refuse to take part in any competition which involved the colony.

President of the Gibraltar FA, Joseph Nunez, told BBC Sport he was delighted with the outcome but still angry with Spain's continuing opposition.

"We've campaigned 10 years for this, although I was always sure the decision would be a positive one," he said.

"Unfortunately, Spain have taken a political rather than a sporting stance over this matter. A few years back they said they would not compete in competitions that we would take part in, but that's just stupid."

"I hope we get full membership, but I'm sure the Spanish FA will press other members to vote against Gibraltar."

Meanwhile, world football's governing body, Fifa, has ruled the Gibraltar FA "does not meet the statutory requirements" for Fifa membership.



SEE ALSO
Uefa delays decision on Gibraltar
05 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Uefa considers Gibraltar claims
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Regions and territories: Gibraltar
12 Sep 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Gibraltar
02 Dec 06 |  Country profiles


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