Berlin – The Spanish national football team opened the shitstorm with an announcement. Coach Luis Enrique, wrote the selection on Twitter in early March, will announce his squad for the game in World Cup qualifying – against Greece, Georgia and the “Region of Kosovo” in the middle of the month. It did not take long for the outrage to occur in Europe’s youngest state.
The Association of Kosovo (FFK) spoke of a “provocation” and asserted and threatened its status as an independent state: the game was set for normal protocol and flag and “anthem” in Seville on Wednesday (8.45pm / DAZN) Not to be played in compliance. Bun, “We don’t play!”
The backdrop of the excitement is a diplomatic dispute that has been raging repeatedly since the 2008 defections from Serbia to Kosovo. China and Russia, Serbia’s most important international allies, still do not recognize the independence of the Balkan state with its 1.8 million inhabitants. This also applies to five countries in the European Union, including Spain. The European Parliament had last week warned Panchak to again recognize political facts and thus Kosovo. in vain.
“Some countries fear creating a domino effect within their country if they compete against Kosovo and thus recognize it,” said Michael Neese. Karlsruhe resident is the technical director and U21 coach at the Kosovar Association. For example, Spain fears “Balkanization” – its own disintegration – with Catalonia’s effort for independence.
And so the country declined in March 2019 to host the Games with Kosovar participation as part of the qualification for the U17 European Championship. In qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Ukraine refused to play Kosovo at home. Out of consideration for politics, the doubles between Kosovo and Bosnia, Serbia and Russia were excluded from the draw for the 2022 World Cup qualifier. On the other hand, Spain has to play. “They have no control under sports law,” Neese said.
After some diplomacy in the background and candid phone calls among the association’s representatives, the protocol is supposed to be followed in Seville. Celiacione also plays football against the Faroe Islands, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Gibraltar, Spain’s Foreign Minister Archana Gonzalez said, although these are “not states”.
What if the Spaniards allow themselves another provocation? “Then I believe,” Ness said, “the players will leave the field, then there will be a scam.”
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