The President of the Republic of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli received today at a meeting the football legend Mr. Franc Beckenbauer, members of the FIFA Executive Committee, with whom he had a lengthy and friendly discussion.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports with the Government of Kosovo Memli Krasniqi.
President Pacolli thanked Mr. Beckenbauer for visiting Kosovo, where he said he was held a legend of German and world football and a strong supporter of Kosovar sports and athletes.
He urged the Legend Beckenbauer to do what he can to help internationalize Kosovo sport and football in particular and to make Kosovo football a part of the UEFA and the FIFA.
“Our country, Kosovo, is very lucky to have a young, healthy and talented youth with a great potential. Our young people have displayed exceptional skills whenever that were given an opportunity and room to do so, in sports especially”, Presidenti Pacolli said, reminding that Kosovo has a young and excellent population with more that 50% of it under the age of 25.
“Sport knows no political differences. Sport knows no hatred or politics. Kosovo must be represented as a state at and participate in international sport events, in all disciplines. Kosovo deserves this; Kosovo youth deserves this; Kosovo athletes deserve this”, President Pacolli added.
“I want to assure the people of Kosovo that I will remain strongly resolved to make sure that the Kosovo sport enhances swiftly so that Kosovo takes part in international competitions and is represented in a dignified manner. I will work closely with all institutional representatives of Kosovo responsible for advancing the sport in Kosovo, so that Kosovo sport enhances; so that Kosovo sport receives a merited recognition, so that Kosovo sport accedes to international organisations”, President Pacolli said.
“Sport is the image of a country. We want to improve our image. We have the chance to develop out youth further, along with the people of Kosovo, with Kosovo sport. Be reminded that Kosovo has the potential. So far, with our youth, with our athletes, we have elevated the flags of many states around the world. Time has come that we elevate the flag of our own state, the flag of Kosovo”, President Pacolli stated.
He also mentioned a number of Albanian athletes who have made great achievements worldwide, in football in particular, and said that Kosovo and the countries where they played were proud of them.
“We deserve a chance to take part in international sport events. We deserve that because we have proven that right historically. We have proven that when our country was facing an ordeal and we are proving it now. Kosovo athletes should not be alone and we are asking for the support of Kosovo’s friends; we are asking for the support of the men of peace. Sport knows no discrimination. Sport is not politics. Sport knows no hatred. Rather, sport helps make peace. Mr. Beckenbauer is a man of peace and we urge him to help Kosovo and Kosovo sport”, President Pacolli said inter alia.
On his part, having congratulated President Pacolli on his election as President, Mr. Franc Beckenbauer said it was his honour to visit Kosovo for the first time.
He said he was not a politician, but an athlete and that he was familiar with the past and present developments in Kosovo.
Concerning the request for Kosovo Football Federation’s accession the to the FIFA, Mr. Beckenbauer said it was decided at a meeting held by the Federation that the issue is first forwarded to the UEFA for review and that, on his part, he would do his utmost to make sure that Kosovo sport advances towards internationalization.
Following the meeting at President’s Cabinet, Mr. Beckenbauer met with Kosovo sport leaders.
President Pacolli has also hosted a lunch honouring Mr. Beckenbauer’s visit where accredited foreign ambassadors, government officials, Kosovo Football Federation officials and officials from other federations were also present.