Friday, March 7, 2014

Haiti, Kosovo play to 0-0 draw in friendly

Six years after declaring independence, Kosovo's footballers have played their first match at international level, drawing 0-0 with Haiti in a friendly.

The match, approved by football's world governing body Fifa, took place in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica.

Kosovo is not recognised by Serbia or Russia and is not a member of Fifa.

But Serbia's football association has agreed that Kosovo can play friendly internationals provided no flags are displayed and no anthems played.

The Caribbean state of Haiti, 79th in the Fifa rankings, may be a surprise choice of opposition for Kosovo's international debut, but the game fulfils a major ambition for the Balkan territory.

Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj tweeted as the match got under way: "The first friendly international game between #Kosovo and #Haiti has just started. Great day for Kosovo's sport."

Selecting the 22-man squad has been difficult. All but one of them plays football abroad.

Three of the country's best players now represent Switzerland, while Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj, whose heritage makes him eligible for Kosovo, declined an invitation to take part.

No comments:

Post a Comment