Contradictory statement regarding the security checks by the Israeli Police at Prishtina Airport

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Prepared by: Ridona Berisha

The contradictory statement between football players and the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) was associated with the stringent police controls before, during, and after the match between the Kosovo National Team and Israel, which took place on November 12th in Prishtina. This was Israel’s first away match since the conflict with Palestine began. In order to avoid potential attacks, according to what the players declared, aside from the Kosovo Police, controls were also carried out by Israeli authorities.

Vedat Muriqi, the striker for Kosovo’s national team, revealed that they were subjected to security checks by Israeli police at Prishtina Airport, a measure he considered excessive and unnecessary.

“At our airport in Kosovo, there have been Israeli police who came specifically to do security checks on us. We are here for sports, not to fight,” stated Muriqi, among other things. He also added, “Montenegro and Romania have also come to play here, and there haven’t been any problems. They didn’t have their own police; they came to play football. I don’t know why they are scared or if this is for something else, I believe this doesn’t pressure us.”

This statement of his was shared by numerous Albanian news outlets such as: Gazeta SiTelegrafiFax.alBota SotAlsat.mkPodujeva, etc.


Photo: Clarification from FFK regarding Vedat Muriqi’s statement

This was renounced by the Football Federation of Kosovo, which, through a press release, stated that Muriqi was referring to the security check conducted in March before Kosovo’s trip to Tel Aviv for the first match against Israel in the European Championship 2024 qualifiers. According to FFK, Vedat Muriqi’s statement regarding the police security check at Prishtina Airport has been misunderstood.

“In his statement today, footballer Muriqi referred to the security check conducted in March before the national team of Kosovo traveled to Tel Aviv, and he linked that incident with the security level for the match on November 12th,” states the FFK press release. The Football Federation of Kosovo expressed gratitude for the significant cooperation provided by the Kosovo Police and other state authorities regarding the security aspect for organizing the match against Israel. After the FFK’s statement, there has been no additional response from Muriqi regarding the security checks he complained about. The match ended without any incidents, and Kosovo won with a score of 1:0.

*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.