22 May 2005

World Cup Gains 33rd Nation

The vote for independence for Montenegro means that this year's World Cup in Germany has actually just gained another country in the draw. Having qualified as Serbia and Montenegro the narrow vote (as yet not finalised) over the 55% threshold means that the team will have representatives of two states in their squad.

In political terms it would mean that Serbia, once the hub of Yugoslavia, will be returned to roughly the same land-locked area it occupied before the outbreak of World War One. Montenego was last independent in 1918 and follows Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina in voting to secede from Serbia. Pressure might now also be mounting in the semi-autonomous Kosovo region to press ahead for their independence as well.

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