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FIFA clears former Albania players for Kosovo duty

Soccer WCup 2018 Finland Kosovo

Fans of Kosovo jubilate after the 2018 World Cup Group I qualifying soccer match in Turku, Finland, Monday Sept. 5, 2016 against Finland which ended as a 1-1 draw. (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP)


ZURICH (AP) FIFA has cleared two former Albania players to represent Kosovo in a World Cup qualifying match on Saturday.

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FIFA says Besart Berisha, a forward with Melbourne Victory, and defender Mergim Vojvoda, of Belgian club Mouscron, had their applications approved to change national-team allegiance.

Kosovo-eligible players played for other countries before the Balkan republic became members of UEFA and FIFA in May.

The 31-year-old Berisha played for Albania’s senior team a decade ago, and Vojvoda recently represented the Albanian under-21 team.

Kosovo plays its fourth World Cup qualifier at Turkey in Antalya on Saturday. It is last in six-team Group I with one point from three matches.