With the FIFA Council this week recommending that tomorrows FIFA Congress votes Gibraltar and Kosovo in as members of FIFA, it is expected both nations will be allowed to compete in the qualifier groups which start play in September.
This would mean that Gibraltar’s competitive match schedules will resume once again after the summer, unlike it was expected.
It could also mean that the first match to be played will come before the season starts. The first round of matches take place between 4-6th September. Any hope of the first matches being played at the Victoria Stadium, if the FIFA rules which are less stringent than UEFA’s will be hampered with the GMF also taking place during those dates. The stadium will be closed between the 15August – 15 September, according to schedules published by some sports organisations, for the GMF.
The final decision on membership by the Congress will be known later tomorrow.
The draw for the qualifier groups have already been held. Whilst the bulk of the groups have six teams, Groups H and I continue with five teams.
The two remaining groups include Bosnia Herzegovina in Group H and Croatia on another.
This has led observers to suggest that with Kosovo also be be included, and considering the political climate following the announced of independence by Kosovo Gibraltar could be placed in group H.
This would see Gibraltar play Belgium, Bosnia, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus, as it would be politically unlikely to place Kosovo in the same group as Bosnia.