Police On Alert As Kosovo Hosts Israel For Euro 2024 Qualifier


By Adelina Ahmeti

Kosovo Police on Wednesday said they will take measures to maintain order when Pristina’s Fadil Vokrri stadium hosts Israel’s national team on November 12 in a match to qualifiy for the EURO 2024 football championship, which will be held in Germany.

“Kosovo Police … has foreseen undertaking security measures for general security before, during and after the match,” the police told BIRN, “so that this sporting event goes as smoothly as other sport events.”

The match was scheduled for October 15 but was delayed by Europe’s football governing body, UEFA, because “the Israeli authorities currently do not allow their national team to travel abroad”.

That decision came after Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, killing over a thousand people and seizing hundreds of hostages, after which Israel declared “war” on the Islamist organisation.

The Israeli team sits third in Group I with 11 points. Romania leads the group with 16 points and Switzerland is second with 15 points. Kosovo sits in fourth place with seven points.

As protests against the killing of Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli forces have erupted in many regional cities, on Wednesday the Kosovo team’s official fan group, Dardanians, (Dardanët) issued a statement remninding fans “not to allow any mistakes”.

The group said that, “due to the sensitivity of the situation”, they have been instructed by Police to have personalized tickets.

“From the start to the end, it should be only a sports match because there is no and should be no other aim,” the fan group said.

“For the sake of our interests as a country and as a national team, we have to try for a correct cheering and focus energies on ourselves, namely to encourage our football players take a positive result,” it added.

The first qualifying match between Israel and Kosovo, played in Tel Aviv on March 25, ended in a 1:1 draw.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *