England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania is expected to continue after the security issue is resolved and state police ensure security
- England will play against Albania in a World Cup qualifier in Tirana on Sunday
- But the game was at risk due to fears of the capital’s lack of police security
- An Albanian FA statement said the security of either side cannot be guaranteed
- But now it looks like the game will continue after the state police insurance
England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania in Tirana on Sunday should continue after a security issue was resolved.
The Albanian Football Association (AFA) said it was informed on Thursday that the local police could not guarantee the safety of the teams.
State police later issued a statement saying they had taken the necessary precautions before the match.
The English World Cup qualifier against Albania on Sunday should now continue
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad will face Albania in a Group I clash on Sunday
“State police assures citizens that they have taken all measures to ensure order and security of the international football match between Albania and England,” the statement read.
The AFA had feared it would be forced to cancel the match, a move it said would have ‘catastrophic’ repercussions for the nation’s image.
An FA spokesperson had said, “We will remain in touch with the relevant authorities.”
The problem arose after the AFA requested that a limited number of fans vaccinated against Covid-19 be allowed to attend the match.
A statement from the Albanian Football Association initially stated: ‘Safety cannot be guaranteed
The Southgate men will arrive on Saturday to take in Edoardo Reja’s men the next day
This was rejected by the government and the Group I game at Air Albania Stadium will be played behind closed doors.
But as there are currently no other lockdown measures in force in Albania, the area around the stadium could be busy.
The original AFA statement read: ‘Today a letter has arrived in the Albanian Football Association from the Tirana local police station stating that the structures of the Tirana local police station do not guarantee action before, during and after Albania. Game against England on March 28.
Tirana police chief insisted his agents cannot guarantee security as many stadiums consist of large window panels and outside tables and chairs
Talks took place between the FA, the police and the government to resolve the issue
Faced with the situation where the state authorities have failed to respond to the Albanian Football Association’s request for the release of spaces at the edge of the national stadium, we ask for an urgent response from these structures.
“The cancellation of the match between Albania and England to be played at the Air Albania Stadium would have catastrophic consequences for the image of our country, the national team and Albanian football in general.”
Following England’s 5-0 win over San Marino on Thursday night, manager Gareth Southgate said he was not worried the game would be called off.
“As for Albania, I never thought for a minute that there would be any doubts,” he said.
‘We are inundated with stories like this about different issues all the time and it is very rare for those things to actually blossom.
‘I have been told there is no question about the game.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (left) turned down a request for a 30 percent capacity utilization