A club from Kosovo to play in UCL for the first time in history
Republic of Kosovo, a small South-East European nation who declared their independence from Serbia in 2008 is on the verge of adding a golden chapter in their footballing history. A Kosovan club is going to take part in elite European football for the first time in history. And the club that will carry the country’s flag in Europe is KF Trepça ’89.
KF Trepça ’89, the running Vala Superliga e Kosoves (Kosovan Top tier football league) champions are going to play in the UEFA Champions League Qualifiers on 27/28th June.
Republic of Kosova became a UEFA member last year in the month of May. But none of their clubs could participate in Europe last year as they failed to meet up the UEFA Licensing criteria. As a result, League champions Feronikeli and Kosovan Cup winners Pristina were barred from finding them among the elites of continental football.
But this year, the fortunes took a 180 degree turn for the land as four of their clubs passed the UEFA licensing, KF Trepça ’89 being one of them and thus getting the green signal of becoming the first Kosovan club ever to compete in the premier competition of Europe.
KF Trepça ’89, a small club based in Mitrovica was founded in 1989 by a group of players from FK Trepça. The club has a 12,000 capacity stadium and has their local rivals by the same name, KF Trepça, only difference being the year of establishment. One between the Kosovan Cup winners and the runners of the Kosovan league will be participating in the UEFA Europa League as well.
The draw for the UCL First Round Playoffs will be held on 19th June and the first leg matches will be played one week later. New Saints of Wales, Linfield of Northern Ireland and Vikingur of Faroe Islands are three of the possible five teams that the Kosovan champions could be facing in the first round of the playoffs.
Whatever may the result be, but the last week of June will be a week which KF Trepça ’89 fans and the in general the football loving people of the little land will have engraved in their memories for years.