SportsAnxiety, As Local Police Can’t Guarantee Safety For Albania-England Match

Anxiety, As Local Police Can’t Guarantee Safety For Albania-England Match


BEVERLY HILLS, March 26, (THEWILL) – The scheduled World Cup qualifier between England and the Republic of Albania in the Albanian capital of Tirana on Sunday may have to be called off due to a security issue that threatens the safety of those involved in and around the venue.

This comes from the Albanian FA (AFA) warning that they have been informed by the local police claiming that they cannot guarantee team safety for the Group I clash and do not believe it to be a wise decision to carry on with the fixture as scheduled.

The Albanian-hosted tie was set to be played behind closed doors but there are no lockdown measures in place in the Southeastern European country that is located on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea, and shares land borders with Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Italy and Greece.

The AFA issued a statement to this effect that read in part: “Today a letter arrived which states that the structures of the local police directorate of Tirana can’t guarantee the taking of measures before, during and after the Albania-England match on 28 March.

“Faced with the situation where the state authorities did not react after the request of the Albanian Football Federation for the release of spaces on the perimeter of the national stadium, we requested an urgent response of these structures.

“The cancellation of the Albania-England match scheduled to be played at air Albania stadium would have catastrophic consequences for the image of our country, the national team and in general for Albanian football.”

In response, the English FA offered a brief, cautious reply: “We will continue to liaise with the relevant authorities.”

Before the statement from the AFA was issued, the government had rejected their request to allow a restricted number of vaccinated fans to attend the qualifier against the English, only for the warning from local police to reach the AFA and cause them to publish their statement.

The Three Lions of England are playing San Marino in the first tie of the World Cup qualifying campaign at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.

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