The tiny British colony of Gibraltar was admitted as a provisional member of European football's governing body UEFA on Monday following a decision by the executive committee meeting in St Petersburg.
A decision on whether to grant full membership to the colony, which has a population of only 28,000, and allow it to become UEFA's 54th member will be taken by the full Congress in London next May.
Gibraltar's case has been strengthened by a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that UEFA has to consider its membership.
Spain still claims sovereignty over Gibraltar after it was ceded to Britain under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.
An edict from the Consejo Superior de Deportes to all sports federations in Spain says they should block any membership application from organisations in Gibraltar.