Gibraltar has taken a major step forward in its bid for membership in world football's governing body. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ordered FIFA to admit Gibraltar as a member.
The CAS ruled Monday that that FIFA must reconsider Gibraltar's application for membership and submit it to Congress as soon as possible.
The court did not give Gibraltar immediate membership, but said the Congress "shall take all the necessary measures to admit the Gibraltar Football Association as a full member of FIFA without delay."
The next FIFA congress takes place on May 12-13 in Mexico City.
Gibraltar's FA had appealed against FIFA's decision in September 2014 when the executive committee rejected its membership application.
Monday's decision could allow Gibraltar to join qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begins in September. It is Gibraltar's second favorable ruling from the CAS, after a previous decision allowed them to join European football's governing body, UEFA, in 2013.
Gibraltar has long sought to be recognized as an independent footballing nation, though the British Overseas Territory does not have a seat at the United Nations.
dr/rd (dpa, AP, Reuters)