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FIFA clears Zeneli to play for Kosovo

Kosovo
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka to be offered switch from Switzerland to Kosovo

The region of Kosovo in southeastern Europe welcomed a new ruling by football's world governing body FIFA to allow International Friendlies.

Granit Xhaka is expected to be offered the chance to represent Kosovo when the national team's squad is announced later this week.

Kosovo was formally recognised as a country by FIFA just four months ago and is preparing for a first ever full international against Finland on Monday, Sep. 5.

And Arsenal midfielder Xhaka is one of a number of players now eligible to represent the 211th FIFA nation.

Granit Xhaka will have a choice to make over his international future.

"Kosovo has called up publicly and privately every Kosovan player who currently plays for any other national team," a statement from the Football Federation of Kosovo said. "Everyone is welcomed to join us on our new and very important challenges."

And the Arsenal supporters' club of Kosovo has also urged Xhaka, who played for Switzerland at the recent European Championship, to answer the call.

"As much as we appreciate what countries like Switzerland have done to raise our children, we want them back as we need them," an open letter from the supporters' club read. "Kosovo needs the likes of Granit Xhaka.

"Granit, it is high time for you to become an idol Kosovo-wide, a living hero.

"Playing for Kosovo's national team you might not benefit materially as much as you would playing for Switzerland, but you would win something much more valuable and significant; our hearts."

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