Kosovo national football team
|Association||Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK)|
|Head coach||Albert Bunjaki|
|Asst coach||Tord Grip|
|Top scorer||Albert Bunjaku (2)|
|Highest Elo ranking||100 (February 14, 1993)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||122 (June–July 2014)|
Kosovo 0–0 Haiti
(Mitrovica, Kosovo; 5 March 2014)
Albania 3–1 Kosovo
(Tirana, Albania; 14 February 1993)
Kosovo 1-0 Oman
(Pristina, Kosovo; 7 September 2014)
Kosovo 7–1 Monaco
(Cap d'Ail, France; 22 April 2006)
| Kosovo 1–6 Turkey
(Mitrovica, Kosovo; 21 May 2014)
The Kosovo national football team represents the Republic of Kosovo[a] in international men's football. Controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo, the governing body for football in Kosovo, they are neither a member of FIFA nor of UEFA. The team is coached by Albert Bunjaki, who took charge in May 2009.
The national team was formed following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and has played a number of friendly matches. Most of these friendly matches were played against football clubs, although a number were played against national teams of other countries. On 6 May 2008, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. Kosovo's applications was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zurich, in October 2008 when Kosovo was rejected membership in FIFA and could not play friendly matches as it was deemed it did not comply with article 10 of the FIFA statutes, that only "an independent state recognised by the international community" may be admitted into FIFA. FIFA reverted that decision in 22 May 2012, stating that Kosovo may play other countries in international friendlies according to Article 79 of the FIFA Statutes.
In September 2012, Albanian international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Valon Behrami (all of them with Kosovar Albanian origin) wrote a declaration to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow the Kosovo national team to be allowed to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by eight other Albanian footballers, hailing from Kosovo: Lorik Cana, Armend Dallku, Mërgim Mavraj, Samir Ujkani, Alban Meha, Burim Kukeli, Etrit Berisha, and Ahmed Januzi. In a meeting held in May 2012, FIFA decided to allow friendly matches to be played, a decision it later revoked following a protest issued by Football Association of Serbia. A new meeting was planned to be held at FIFA on 27 and 28 September in which the Kosovo issue was again planned to be discussed, which was then postponed until December. In February 2013, FIFA announced that they would allow Kosovo to play against other nations in non-official competitions providing that they did not display national symbols.
On 13 January 2014, the national team was given permission by FIFA to play against FIFA member associations in international friendlies, with the notable exception of "representative teams of countries of the former Yugoslavia". Even club teams would be allowed to play friendlies after a FIFA Emergency Committee meeting. However, it was stipulated that "clubs and representative teams of the (Football Federation of Kosovo) may not display national symbols (flags, emblems, etc.) or play national anthems." The go-ahead was given after meetings between the Serbian Football Association and Blatter. Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi welcomed the decision and expressed his hope that the country would be a full member of FIFA and UEFA in the near future. Following FIFA's ruling, it was announced that Kosovo's first officially sanctioned international match would be against Haiti on 5 March in Mitrovica.
Kosovo has played a number of unofficial international friendlies. The first one was against Albania in February 14, 1993, lost 1-3. One of the most important international matches was a 1–0 win over Saudi Arabia, played in Ankara, Turkey, on June 15, 2007. It was the first time that Kosovo played a team that has taken part in the FIFA World Cup and the winning goal was scored by Kristian Nushi from the penalty spot on the 84th minute. The biggest win for Kosovo is the 7–1 defeat of Monaco, who hosted the event on April 24, 2006. The team that played against Monaco was led by the former Kosovo national team coach, Muharrem Sahiti, who after the match stated that: "I am very pleased with the team's performance even though we had predicted a stronger opponent. However, I want to emphasize that our players have been fantastic. The fact that we do not play many international matches may have inspired the players to give it their all this time".
In 2005 they participated in the KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup in Northern Cyprus, finishing second out of three. They lost 1–0 against the host and won 4–1 against Sàpmi. On 5 March 2014, Kosovo played its first international friendly against Haiti. The match ended in a 0–0 draw. Before the match, a selection of Kosovo players posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia. On the eve of the match, Kosovo supporters burned the flag of Serbia. This incident prompted the FSS to request that FIFA revoke Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.
|Year||Round||Position||Matches||Wins||Draws*||Losses||Goals Scored||Goals Against|
|KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup||Group Stage||Runners Up||2||1||0||1||4||2|
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
|Friendly 5 March 2014||Kosovo||0 – 0||Haiti||Mitrovica, Kosovo|
|14:00 GMT||Report||Stadium: Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari
Referee: Stephan Klossner (Switzerland)
|Friendly 21 May 2014||Kosovo||1 – 6||Turkey||Mitrovica, Kosovo|
|16:00 GMT||Bunjaku 35'||Özek 2'
Pektemek 54', 71'
Potuk 86' (pen.)
|Stadium: Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari
Referee: Bardhyl Pashaj (Albania)
|Friendly 25 May 2014||Kosovo||1 – 3||Senegal||Geneva, Switzerland|
|15:00 GMT||Bunjaku 25'||Niasse 41', 49'
|Stadium: Stade de Genève
Referee: Stephan Klossner (Switzerland)
|Friendly 7 September 2014||Kosovo||1 – 0||Oman||Pristina, Kosovo|
|16:00 GMT||Bunjaku 84'||Stadium: Pristina City Stadium
Referee: Lorenc Jemini (Albania)
The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
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