Gibraltar does not qualify for FIFA membership, football’s governing body declared on Friday.
The decision may come as a surprise to some, as the territory was accepted into UEFA, the European footballing authority, last year.
However, speaking to reporters, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Gibraltar couldn’t be accepted because, in effect, the FIFA statutes don’t consider it to be a country.
The August 2014 edition of the statutes define a country as “an independent state recognised by the international community.”
The ruling means Gibraltar will not be able to take part in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.