- Greece to Play Gibraltar First in World Cup Qualifying -
UEFA officially added Gibraltar to Greece’s FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group and Greece will kick off qualifying against FIFA’s newest member. The first game is scheduled for September 6th, in Gibraltar, and will take the place of Greece’s friendly against Russia scheduled for the same date.
Gibraltar and Kosovo were both added to FIFA World Cup Qualifying after UEFA’s meeting last week. The two teams were added to Groups H and I, since both groups only had 5 teams compared to the other 7 groups which consist of 6 teams. The two nations were placed, rather than drawn, to each group due to political concerns. Both Greece and Cyprus do not recognize Kosovo as a state and UEFA feared fan violence if Bosnia (also in group H) played Kosovo. For those reasons, Kosovo was placed in Group I and Gibraltar was placed in Group H.
Gibraltar will take part in World Cup Qualifying for the first time in their history. Gibraltar has been a member of UEFA since 2013 and competed for the first time in an international competition during UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying. They finished qualifying with 10 losses from 10 games, while scoring 2 goals and conceding 56. Greece will now start qualifying a month earlier and will play away to Gibraltar on September 6th. Additionally, Greece will play their final qualification match at home to Gibraltar on October 10th, 2017. The new schedule of Group H can be found here.
Source: fifa.com; Image Source: thenationalherald.com