November 16, 2019

ALONG THE ANGLOSPHERE:

Kosovars delighted to face English 'allies' (Ismet HAJDARI, 11/16/19, AFP)

With England already qualified after thrashing Montenegro 7-0 on Thursday, Sunday's match has little significance but nevertheless authorities and fans in the former Serbian province are gearing up to welcome their visitors.

Banners throughout the capital Pristina proclaim "Welcome and Respect" for England in a territory where a number of young people are named after Tony Blair in a tribute to the former British prime minister.

"Thanks to you we now play against you! Forever grateful to you our beloved England!" read another banner in Pristina.

Blair and US president Bill Clinton were the leading advocates of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in response to its late president Slobodan Milosevic's conflict with pro-independence ethnic Albanians.

A decade after the 1998-1999 conflict Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, a move recognised by more than 100 countries, including the United States, Britain and most European Union member states.

"The most important is to receive them and to respect them as they are our friend. We are lucky for having such a friend," 29-year old economist Labinot Ajvazi said. "Let the best team win."

Posted by at November 16, 2019 7:20 AM

  

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