Kosovo beats Israel 1-0 to qualify for EURO 2024

Sports
Mon, 13 Nov 2023 7:15 GMT
Besiktas player Milot Rashica scores only goal of match.
Kosovo beats Israel 1-0 to qualify for EURO 2024

Kosovo beat Israel 1-0 on Sunday in a rearranged Group I qualifying match to seal a spot at UEFA EURO 2024.

The only goal of the match was scored in the 41st minute by Milot Rashica, who plays for Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas.

Israeli football player Roy Revivo received a red card during extra time.

Kosovo rose to fourth place in Group I with 10 points and Israel remained in third place with 11 points, trailing Romania and Switzerland.

The match was played under extraordinary security measures at Fadil Vokrri Stadium in the capital Pristina.

A series of social media posts called for the match to be cancelled after messages criticizing Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

Each of the 14,000 tickets released for the match were personalized, and only fans that presented both the tickets and their ID cards were allowed into the stadium.

The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) admitted that they considered holding the game in an empty stadium due to security reasons.

Kosovo fans booed Israel's national anthem during the pre-match ceremony.

Police announced that they detained two people who did not comply with the rules around the stadium before the match.

Kosovo police banned a pro-Palestine protest planned ahead of Sunday's football match.

Following the ban, people took to social media to call for a complete boycott of the match’s ticket sales.

Strict measures and a ban were also enforced for the possession of all kinds of racist, xenophobic, political and religious materials in and around the stadium.

This was the first appearance of the Israeli national team abroad since the beginning of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The match was supposed to be played on Oct. 15, but UEFA postponed it due to the conflict.

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