Kosovo national football team

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Kosovo
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Dardanët
Association Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK)
Head coach Albert Bunjaki
Asst coach Tord Grip
Captain Enis Alushi
Top scorer Albert Bunjaku (2)
Home stadium Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari,
Mitrovica
FIFA code KOS
Elo ranking 122[1]
Highest Elo ranking 100[1] (February 14, 1993[1])
Lowest Elo ranking 122[1] (June–July 2014[1])
First colours
Second colours
First international
Official
Kosovo Kosovo 0–0 Haiti 
(Mitrovica, Kosovo; 5 March 2014)
Unofficial
 Albania 3–1 Kosovo Albania
(Tirana, Albania; 14 February 1993)
Biggest win
Official
There are currently no wins
Unofficial
United Nations Kosovo 7–1 Monaco 
(Cap d'Ail, France; April 22, 2006)
Biggest defeat
Kosovo Kosovo 1–6 Turkey 
(Mitrovica, Kosovo; May 21, 2014)

The Kosovo national football team represents the Republic of Kosovo[a] in international men's football. Controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo,[2] the governing body for football in Kosovo, they are neither a member of FIFA nor of UEFA. The team is coached by Albert Bunjaki,[3] who took charge in May 2009.

History[edit]

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.[4][5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8][9] 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.[10]

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.[11][12] Following FIFA's ruling, it was announced that Kosovo's first officially sanctioned international match would be against Haiti on 5 March in Mitrovica.

Match record[edit]

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,[13] 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,[14] 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".[15]

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.[citation needed] On 5 March 2014, Kosovo played its first international friendly against Haiti. The match ended in a 0–0 draw.[16] Before the match, a selection of Kosovo players posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia.[17] On the eve of the match, Kosovo supporters burned the flag of Serbia.[18][19] This incident prompted the FSS to request that FIFA revoke Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.[20]

Tournament Record[edit]

Kosovo has so far only participated in one international tournament, the KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup, held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Northern Cyprus Football Federation.[21]

KTFF Cup[edit]

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[edit]

2014[edit]

Squad[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were called up for the friendly matches against Turkey and Senegal.[22]
Caps and goals as of 25 May 2014.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
22 1GK Kushtrim Mushica (1983-05-01) 1 May 1983 (age 31) 2 0 Kosovo Prishtina
12 1GK Julian Bibelaj (1996-05-04) 4 May 1996 (age 18) 1 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt II
1 1GK Samir Ujkani (1988-06-05) 5 June 1988 (age 26) 1 0 Italy Palermo
13 2DF Lum Rexhepi (1992-08-03) 3 August 1992 (age 21) 2 0 Finland Honka
29 2DF Debatik Curri (1984-12-28) 28 December 1984 (age 29) 1 0 Albania Flamurtari
98 2DF Mehmet Hetemaj (1987-12-08) 8 December 1987 (age 26) 1 0 Finland Honka
23 2DF Bajram Jashanica (1990-09-25) 25 September 1990 (age 23) 1 0 Albania Besa Kavajë
28 2DF Shkodran Metaj (1988-02-05) 5 February 1988 (age 26) 1 0 Netherlands Emmen
76 2DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Partizani
5 3MF Enis Alushi (1985-12-22) 22 December 1985 (age 28) 3 0 Germany Kaiserslautern
7 3MF Kristian Nushi (1982-07-21) 21 July 1982 (age 32) 3 0 Switzerland St. Gallen
40 3MF Fanol Perdedaj (1991-07-16) 16 July 1991 (age 23) 2 0 Germany Energie Cottbus
21 3MF Anel Raskaj (Captain) (1989-08-19) 19 August 1989 (age 24) 2 0 Norway Sandnes Ulf
33 3MF Yll Hoxha (1987-12-26) 26 December 1987 (age 26) 2 0 Albania Kukësi
30 3MF Faton Toski (1987-02-17) 17 February 1987 (age 27) 2 0 Germany FSV Frankfurt
32 3MF Eroll Zejnullahu (1994-10-19) 19 October 1994 (age 19) 2 0 Germany Union Berlin
28 3MF Mentor Zhdrella (1988-06-10) 10 June 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Kosovo Prishtina
92 3MF Liridon Krasniqi (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Turkey Fethiyespor
42 3MF Alban Bunjaku (1994-05-20) 20 May 1994 (age 20) 3 0 England Derby County
34 3MF Imran Bunjaku (1992-10-18) 18 October 1992 (age 21) 1 0 Switzerland Grasshopper
16 3MF Enis Bunjaku (1996-07-26) 26 July 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt II
10 4FW Albert Bunjaku (1983-11-29) 29 November 1983 (age 30) 3 2 Switzerland St. Gallen
9 4FW Albion Avdijaj (1994-01-12) 12 January 1994 (age 20) 2 0 Germany Wolfsburg
43 4FW Dardan Rexhepi (1992-01-16) 16 January 1992 (age 22) 2 0 Sweden Brommapojkarna

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Valmir Bytyqi (1982-02-25) 25 February 1982 (age 32) 4 0 Kosovo KF Besa v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
DF Avni Pepa (1988-11-14) 14 November 1988 (age 25) 1 0 Norway Sandnes Ulf v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
DF Loret Sadiku (1991-07-28) 28 July 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Sweden Helsingborg v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
MF Ardian Gashi (1981-06-20) 20 June 1981 (age 33) 1 0 Sweden Helsingborg v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
FW Ilir Azemi (1992-02-21) 21 February 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Germany Greuther Fürth v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
FW Shpëtim Hasani (1982-08-10) 10 August 1982 (age 31) 1 0 Sweden Örebro v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014
FW Flamur Kastrati (1991-11-14) 14 November 1991 (age 22) 1 0 Norway Strømsgodset v.  Haiti, 5 March 2014

Notes and references[edit]

Notes:

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 107 out of 193 United Nations member states.

References:

  1. ^ a b c d e Kirill. "Eloratings.net". Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kosovo national team info by FFK
  3. ^ coach of Kosovo Kent national football team (AlbaniaSoccer)
  4. ^ "FIFA's finances solid". FIFA. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  5. ^ http://sofiaecho.com/2008/10/25/664220_fifa-rejects-kosovo-football-body-application
  6. ^ "FIFA ExCo makes reform progress and Audit and Compliance Committee appointment". Media Release. FIFA.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Shaqiri Xhaka Cana & Co deklarate per Kosoven ne FIFA
  8. ^ "Cana, Šaćiri, Džaka i Behrami pisali Blateru zbog Kosova" (in Serbian). Sportski žurnal. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Vokri: FIFA i UEFA imaju dvostruke standarde" (in Serbian). Sportski žurnal. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "FIFA Circular no.1342". FIFA.com. 6 February 2013. 
  11. ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/uk-soccer-fifa-kosovo-idUKBREA0C1G620140113
  12. ^ "FIFA Emergency Committee confirms friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo". FIFA.com. 13 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Kosovo 1:0 Saudi Arabia (Futbolli.com)[dead link]
  14. ^ Kosovo defeated Monaco by a score of 7–1 (AlbaniaSoccer)[dead link]
  15. ^ AlbaniaSoccer (2006). "Salihi's statement after the Monaco friendly". [dead link]
  16. ^ "Kosovo footballers draw with Haiti in Mitrovica debut". BBC. 5 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Kosovo national team cause a stir by posing with guns before first ever international fixture". Independent. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Zapaljena zastava Srbije" [Serbian flag burned] (in Serbian). B92. 5 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Navijači Kosova zapalili zastavu Srbije" [Kosovo supporters burn the Serbian flag] (in Bosnian). Oslobođenje. 5 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "FSS traži opoziv FIFA za Kosovo" [The FSS seeks that FIFA recall Kosovo] (in Serbian). B92. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Tr Northern Cyprus - 50 Years Anniversary Cup 2005". Rssf.com. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  22. ^ Dy miqësoret, Bunjaku shpall listën e Kosovës

External links[edit]