Kosovo Welcomes Spanish Football Team for World Cup Qualifier
A big screen erected in Kosovo's main sports stadium has welcomed Spain's national football team to Pristina as the two teams go head to head on Wednesday evening in a World Cup "Qatar 2022" qualifying match.
"Spain is one of the best teams in the world and will be welcomed in Kosovo where, over the years, it has had many fans… they will feel like in their own home," the President of the Kosovo Football Federation, Agim Ademi, wrote on Tuesday to his Spanish counterpart, Luis Rubiales.
Spanish media have highlighted Madrid's continued political opposition to Kosovo's independence with sport's online magazine Diario As reporting the match under the headline "Hostile Environment in Kosovo".
In social media posts, the Spanish team's Twitter account has also mainly avoided using the term "Kosovo", preferring to refer to the match in "Pristina". Only in a recent tweet on Wednesday did the account use the term "Kosovo".
⚽ Kosovo - ESPAÑA
🏆 Clasificación #Catar2022
🏟 Estadio Fadil Vokrri
✍️🏻 PREVIA: https://t.co/PCImY7iAet
#⃣ #VamosEspaña pic.twitter.com/mj91ybeuiX
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) September 8, 2021
But Spanish team manager Luis Enrique has spoken highly about the reception his team has got in Kosovo since they landed in Pristina on Tuesday afternoon.
"I want to stress that it is a great atmosphere, people are very good and they have welcomed us. We do not have problems here because we have come to play football and do not deal with politics," Enrique told the media.
Spain is one of five European Union countries that have not recognised the former province...