The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the appeal of the Football Association of Serbia (FAS) against the admission of Kosovo to UEFA.
The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) became a member after a vote at the UEFA Congress in Budapest in May 2016, becoming the 55th nation of the association by 28 votes to 24.
Serbia and its allies, including Russia, do not recognise Kosovo as an independent country and the CAS panel accepted that the Serbian federation had a case.
The FAS had argued UEFA had breached its own rules in admitting Kosovo. The rules state that membership is open to countries in Europe recognised by the United Nations as independent states.
The statement from CAS read: "Considering that there is no formal recognition of countries by the UN, the CAS Panel interpreted [the relevant article of the UEFA Statutes] as meaning that the territory in which the football federation is located shall be recognised by the majority of the UN member states as an 'independent state.'
"The CAS Panel found that this prerequisite was fulfilled with respect to FFK, and that such conclusion was also in line with the will expressed by the majority of the member federations at the UEFA Congress to accept FFK as a new UEFA member. As a consequence, FAS' appeal was dismissed.''
Kosovo played their first official match on June 3, 2016, beating the Faroe Islands 2-0. They are in Group I in qualification for the 2018 World Cup and have one point from four matches.
Ukraine hosted Kosovo in neutral Poland in October, because the Ukranian government also does not recognise Kosovo's independence.