March 5th will be a historical day for football in Kosovo. Following FIFA’s decision to allow Kosovo to hold a friendly match on this day, this is the first match that Kosovo’s national football team will play against Haiti in Mitrovica. In January this year, World Football Federation, FIFA, allowed Kosovo to hold friendly international matches without state symbols, but through the use of a footnote
Pristina, March 4, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Elton Tota
On Wednesday (March 5), starting from 3 pm, “Adem Jashari” Olympic stadium in Mitrovica will be at the focus of all media in the country and several international media. FIFA will follow this match too in order to see how much are Kosovars prepared to go international.
Residents are enthusiastic
“History is only written once” was the promoting slogan of this match, while Kosovar youths are looking forward to the moment when the judge blows his whistle for the match to kick off.
Burim SH., a student of law says that he’s looking forward to this football match:
“On Wednesday I will be in Mitrovica. I hope that Kosovo’s national team will play well and will register its first victory in the history of international matches”, says the youngster for IBNA.
Even Jahir Xh., a student of political sciences says that he’s looking forward to this match.
“Along with friends, we have decided to be in the stadium, as we’ve been looking forward to the match. I don’t know how good Haiti is, but Kosovo is not great either. So, I believe that we needed a team to match our team”, says Jahiri.
IBNA learns that besides youngsters and football fans, 200 seats have been reserved for the Kosovar elite.
A large number of MPs have purchased tickets. Several days ago, premier of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci purchased a ticket for his son, Endrit.
Thaci purchased two tickets for the western part of the stadium, which is the VIP part.
Kosovar players gather in training
Kosovo’s national football team has held its first training ahead of the friendly match against Haiti, scheduled to take place on March 5 in the Olympic “Adem Jashari” stadium in Mitrovica.
The training has taken place in “Agron Rama” stadium in Kastriot, but not all players were present. Ardian Gashi, Loret Sadiku, Samir Ujkani, Ilir Azemi and Faton Toski were allowed to rest by the coach Albert Bunjaki.
“Several players have been absent because they had obligations with their clubs yesterday, while today they have traveled a lot and have stayed in the hotel to rest”, declared Bunjaki after the training.
The second training session continues today and the team is expected to be completed. Haiti’s national team will also hold a training session in Kosovo. For Haiti, this will be the first training session before the match with Kosovo.
Haiti comes to Kosovo, the coach is enthusiastic about the match
Haiti’s football team, led by its coach, Marc Collet arrived in Kosovo on Monday evening.
The team has been accommodated in the hotel of the deputy prime minister of Kosovo, Behxhet Pacolli, in the center of Pristina. Haiti players were enthusiastic and the same can be said about their coach. Talking to IBNA’s correspondent in Kosovo, Mr. Marc Collets said that this match is very important for him, because it’s the first match as coach of this team.
Ticket prices in the black market increase
The price for a ticket to the historical match between Kosovo and Haiti has increased to 35 Euros. Recently, “merrje” webpage has been used to sell tickets in the black market.
The highest price has been registered in Djakovica, where someone was willing to sell two tickets for the northern part of the stadium 25 Euros a piece and 3 others for the western part, 35 Euros a piece.
IBNA reports that there have been abuses with ticket prices for the match between Kosovo and Haiti, after they were launched in the market on Saturday.
After all tickets were sold, they are now being resold in the black market. Thus, tickets for the western part of the stadium, which initially cost 10 Euros, now cost 15 Euros, but people have also managed to find them for 12 Euros. Tickets for the eastern part of the stadium which used to cost 7 Euros, are now being sold at 10 Euros, while for the southern part, from 5 Euros, tickets are being sold at 7 or 9 Euros.
Haiti will enter the history of Kosovo’s football
Out of many countries that Kosovo could have played in its first friendly match, Haiti was the national team that accepted Kosovo’s invitation.
The other countries were USA, Turkey, Holland and Bulgaria, but the postponement of the decision from last year to January this year, has denied Kosovo the opportunity to play against strong teams.
Haiti has been a last minute choice, as Kosovo was refused by Jamaica for security reasons.
Part of the teams that Kosovo could have played were also Kenya and Panama, while Bolivia accepted the invitation after the Federation had announced the match to FIFA.
Who is the national team of Haiti?
Haiti currently ranks 79th in the FIFA ranking, while Kosovo is its first opponent for 2014.
In 2013, Haiti has played 10 matches. It has managed to obtain good results against Spain and Italy in the friendly matches played in Florida. Against the world and European champions, Spain, Haiti lost 1 to 2, but it surprised through a 2:2 draw against the Italians. Haiti has once participated in a World Cup in 1974 in Western Germany, but its appearance was not that great, resulting in elimination from the group.
Its biggest success was in 2007 when it became champion of the Caribbean Cup, defeating Trinidad Tobago by 2 to 1 in the final. Haiti’s coach is the Frenchman Marc Collet, who has led numerous teams in France.
On March 5, all routes lead to Mitrovica
Due to the modalities imposed by FIFA, Kosovo cannot play with its state symbols. There will not be an anthem and there will not be flags. But nobody can stop fans in Adem Jashari to bring the state symbols with them and support Kosovo in the stadium. This was also declared by the president of Kosovo’s Football Federation, Fadil Vokrri. /ibna/