BELGRADE (Reuters) - World basketball's governing body FIBA has granted Kosovo full membership amid Serbia's request to make sure that clubs or national teams from the two countries never meet at any level.
"The decision comes on the back of the International Olympic Committee granting full recognition to the Kosovo Olympic Committee in December 2014," FIBA said on its official website (www.fiba.com).
"As a result of Friday's decision, FIBA Europe will now work towards incorporating the national teams of Kosovo in its competitions beginning this summer."
More than 100 countries have recognized Kosovo as an independent nation but Serbia refuses to follow suit on its former southern province.
Although the Serbian basketball association acknowledged Kosovo's recognition by FIBA was imminent, it said playing against the Kosovans should be avoided.
"We expect FIBA to take seriously our warning that matches at any level, club or international and ranging from youth to senior, should be avoided at all cost," it said.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond