Kosovo Secures UEFA EURO 2024 Berth with 1-0 Victory Over Israel Amidst Controversy
In a tightly contested match, Kosovo clinches a spot at UEFA EURO 2024 by defeating Israel 1-0, with Milot Rashica's decisive goal.
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In a rescheduled Group I qualifying match on Sunday, Kosovo secured a spot at UEFA EURO 2024 by defeating Israel 1-0. The lone goal, netted in the 41st minute, came from Milot Rashica of the Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas.
During extra time, Israeli player Roy Revivo received a red card. Kosovo climbed to fourth place in Group I with 10 points, while Israel remained in third place with 11 points, trailing behind Romania and Switzerland.
The match, held at Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Pristina, implemented heightened security measures. Social media posts had called for its cancellation in protest of messages criticizing Israel's military actions in Gaza. The 14,000 personalized tickets required both presentation and ID for entry.
The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) acknowledged considering an empty stadium due to security concerns. Despite booing during Israel's national anthem and the detainment of two rule violators, the game proceeded. Kosovo police also banned a pro-Palestine protest, leading to calls for a ticket sales boycott on social media.
Stringent measures, including a ban on racist, xenophobic, political, and religious materials, were enforced. Notably, this marked the Israeli national team's first appearance abroad since the Gaza conflict began. Originally scheduled for October 15, UEFA had postponed the match due to the ongoing conflict.
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