UEFA has delayed a decision to grant membership to Gibraltar – despite being told to do so by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
UEFA’s executive committee said it had decided to postpone plans to grant the territory provisional membership “in order to examine new documents submitted shortly before the meeting.”
A UEFA spokesman said: “The Spanish FA has brought to our attention a number of documents recently discovered in their archives, and the executive committee felt there was no time to examine them before its decision today.
“And since no draws or competitions (involving Gibraltar) are taking place in that time, nobody would suffer any damage.”
The Spanish football federation (RFEF), which opposes granting membership to Gibraltar, said in a statement: “The considered and well-reasoned intervention of RFEF president Angel Maria Villar at the executive committee meeting convinced them to take into account his arguments…”
In July, CAS ordered UEFA’s executive committee “to admit the Gibraltar Football Association to provisional membership of UEFA at its next meeting.”
The court also ordered the committee to put the question of Gibraltar’s application for full membership before the next meeting of the UEFA Congress, due to be held in January 2007.
The debate over Gibraltar’s footballing future is clouded by the historical dispute between Spain and Britain over which country controls the territory.