Spain will "exhaust all legal means" to prevent the tiny British territory of Gibraltar gaining full membership of UEFA, Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert said on Tuesday.
Gibraltar was admitted as a provisional member of European soccer's governing body on Monday and a decision on whether to grant full membership will be taken at a UEFA Congress in London next May.
Wert, whose portfolio also includes education and culture, said Gibraltar's provisional membership meant it could not yet take part in UEFA competition and said his ministry and the foreign ministry would work to block full membership.
"We have already said we will exhaust all legal means," he told Spanish TV broadcaster Telemadrid. "I can say that we are reasonably optimistic that this provisionality will not become a definitive acceptance."
Spain claims sovereignty over Gibraltar, which sits at the southern end of the Iberian peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean.