By James Langton
GIBRALTAR’S football team can take part in the qualification stages for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after the Gibraltarian FA officially became the 211th member of FIFA, football’s worldwide governing body, last week.
Attempts by the Rock’s football team to be formally recognised by both FIFA and UEFA, the administrative body for European football, had been hampered over the years by Spain, which opposed and voted against its numerous applications to gain membership into either group.
But a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on May 2 ordered FIFA to take “all necessary steps” to admit Gibraltar. At the 66th FIFA congress, which took place in Mexico City on May 12 and 13, the matter was voted on, with 93% of members voting in favour of Gibraltar joining FIFA.
Gibraltar was accepted into UEFA in 2013.