Unsupported claim by Agim Musliu alleges that Serbia Planned an Attack During the Kosovo-Israel Match

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Prepared by: Ridona Berisha

On November 12, 2023, the Kosovo national football team played against Israel as part of the Euro 2024 qualification. The match took place under strict security measures, a result of the escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In addition to the tense security situation, there were also numerous disinformations regarding the security aspect.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is being exploited by various individuals and media outlets to disseminate information that lacks support from reliable sources and documents. Consequently, there has been a tendency to instill fear and panic in public opinion.

Hence, Agim Musliu, the director of the “Octopus” Institute, published a claim on Platform X (former Twitter), alleging that Serbia had planned to use the match in Pristina to provoke an incident.

“Serbia’s plan to cause an international incident in #Pristina, in the football match between Kosovo and Israel, failed! Aleksandar Vucic wanted to use the war in #Gaza to make Kosovo hostile to the West!” wrote Musliu.


Photo: Excerpt from Agim Musli’s post on the X platform.

The post was accompanied by a manipulated photograph, in which the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, is depicted facing the “Fadil Vokrri” stadium, holding a letter with the inscription: “Special Operation, Kosovo-Israel match.”

Musliu’s claim circulated without being verified in several Albanian-language outlets, such as  Bota SotGazeta BlicKosova imeRruga PressKosova.infoJepi zëBallkani.infoGazeta Infokus, etc. However, local authorities, who increased security checks before, during, and after the match, have not declared at any point that there was a plan to cause an incident at the capital’s stadium, as Musliu alleged.

*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.