KF Luftëtari Gjirokastër
|Full name||Luftëtari Gjirokastër Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Bluzinjtë (Blue & blacks)|
(as Shqiponja Gjirokastër)
Grigor Tavo (75%)|
Municipality of Gjirokastër (25%)
|2017–18||Albanian Superliga, 3rd|
Luftëtari Gjirokastër Football Club (Albanian pronunciation: [luftətaɾi ɟiɾɔkastəɾ]), also known as Luftëtari FC or simply Luftëtari is an Albanian football club based in Gjirokastër southern Albania. The club was founded on 1929 as Shqiponja Gjirokastër and has played at its home ground, the Gjirokastra Stadium, since 1973. They currently compete in the Albanian Superliga, the top flight of football in the country.
The club was founded in 1929 under the name Shqiponja Gjirokastër. It underwent many subsequent name changes over the years: Gjirokastër (1949), Puna Gjirokastër (1951), Luftëtari Gjirokastër (1958), Shqiponja Gjirokastër (1992) and to its current name Luftëtari Gjirokastër in 2002.
During the Communist Albania Luftetari was deemed to have a good football academy, which provided for several national team players, such as Theodhori Kalluci, Sefedin Braho, Lefter Millo, Arjan Xhumba, Arjan Bellaj, Altin Haxhi, and Gjergji Kalluci.
Luftëtari finished as the league runner-up in the 1977–78 season, their highest achievement to date.
On 2 July 2015 Mustafa Hysi was appointed as the club's head coach Gentian Nora as general sport director of the 2015–16 Albanian Superliga season, with the aim of achieving promotion back to the Albanian Superliga.
Luftëtari were promoted back to Albanian Superliga after a three-year absence as they defeated Apolonia Fier on the last matchday of the regular season in Group B of the Albanian First Division. They then faced Group A winners Korabi Peshkopi in the championship final at the Qemal Stafa Stadium on 19 May 2016, where they clinched their 8th First Division title as they won 11–10 in a penalty shootout that saw 24 penalties being taken following a goalless draw and extra time. By finishing third in the Albanian Superliga 2017–18 season, they will make its debut in the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League season.
The club plays its home games at the Gjirokastra Stadium, which was built in 1973 and is located near the centre of Gjirokastër and holds 8,400 spectators.Following Luftëtari's promotion back to the Albanian Superliga in 2016, the stadium required a complete renovation in order to meet the necessary requirements to host home games in the top flight. Work on the stadium began in August 2016 and the surface was to be replaced and plastic seats were to be installed throughout the stadium. The first stage of the reconstruction was completed in November 2016, which meant that the stadium was able to host Albanian Superliga games once again. The first stage consisted of replacing the playing surface, the installation of 300 plastic seats in the main stand, the installation of CCTV as well as the refurbishment of the changing room for both players and officials. The cost of the work carried out totalled 15,000,000 Albanian lek, around €110,000 at the time, and it was a joint investment by the Municipality of Gjirokastër, the Albanian Football Association as well as the club's owner Grigor Tavo. The first game of the 2016–17 season to take place at the stadium came against Partizani which ended 1–1 with around 7,000 fans in attendance.
- Runners-up (1): 1977–78
Albanian First Division (Tier 2)
- Winners (8): 1934, 1962–63, 1965–66, 1974–75, 1988–89, 1993–94, 1998–99, 2015–16
- Runners-up (2): 1954, 1960
- Winners (1): 1977
- Winners (1): 1983
Zëri i Rinisë Cup
- Winners (1): 1982
Shtypi Popullore Shqiptare Cup
- Winners (1): 1977
50th Anniversary of Football in Albania Cup
- Winners (1): 1963
As of 12 July 2018
|2018–19||UEFA Europa League||1QR||Ventspils||3–3||0−5||3–8|
- QR: Qualifying round
- As of 18 October 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Luftëtari, Hysi merr “timonin” Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine.
- Luftëtari 2–1 Apolonia
- Luftëtari hap shampanjën e elitës
- Luftëtari kampion i Kategorisë së Parë pas 24 penalltive
- JUGUnews (2018-05-25). "VIDEO/Festa e Luftëtarit për në Europa League". Retrieved 2018-06-19.
- Worldstadiums. "Stadia in Albania". Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Panorama Sport (9 August 2016). "Nis puna në stadium, Luftëtari luan një muaj jashtë Gjirokastrës" (in Albanian). Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- Luftëtari 1–1 Partizani
- Tavo: Kemi projekt, mos u çudisni nëse mundim edhe Kukësin
- Luftëtari, Bime hap “thesin” para Elbasanit
- Luftëtari, Hysi merr “timonin”