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Football: UEFA Grants Montenegro Provisional Membership


The European Football Union UEFA has granted Montenegro provisional membership but has delayed its decision on whether Gibraltar can be a full member.

Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the European governing body granted the provisional membership Thursday, following the dissolution of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro.

Full membership - which would allow Montenegro to take part in the 2012 European championship - has to be approved by the UEFA Congress at its next meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany in January.

The European governing body said that it would postpone a decision on Gibraltar in order to review documents provided by Spain on the state of Gibraltar's football facilities.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ordered UEFA to approve Gibraltar's petition for full membership last month. Spain had UEFA change its rules in 1999 so membership would be limited to U.N.-recognized states. The court ruled in Gibraltar's favor because its initial application for membership was filed before UEFA changed the rules.

The debate over Gibraltar's future has been a source of tension between Britain and Spain. Britain says the island is its overseas territory, but Spain also claims sovereignty over it.

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