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Sport in Kosovo

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Sport in Kosovo

Sport in Kosovo has a long tradition and plays a prominent role in the society. Popular sports in Kosovo are among others football, basketball, volleyball, handball, and wrestling. Whereas, major individual sports include wrestling, judo, swimming, boxing, karate and skiing.

Whereas, individual sports are the ones who brought Kosovo's biggest successes. The outstanding wrestlers and boxers such as Aziz Salihu, Mehmet Bogujevci, Sami Buzolli and Majlinda Kelmendi have brought medals from European World Cup Championships and the Olympic Games. During the period between 1989 and 1999 athletes were forced to give up from most of the competition due to numerous difficulties. However, after the war they started to return to the football grounds as they formed most of the federations. Some of the federations that are part of the international associations are Kosovo Taekwondo Federation, Boxing Federation, Handball Federation, Judo Federation, and Kosovo Ski Federation. Nevertheless, athletes who were born and raised in European countries, had the opportunity to be successful in the international area. The boxer Luan Krasniqi, who appeared under the German flag, has achieved many success among others by winning the European Championship title.


  • Football 1
  • Basketball 2
  • Judo 3
  • Handball 4
  • Volleyball 5
  • Athletics 6
  • Chess 7
  • Tennis 8
  • Traditional sports 9
  • Sports fan clubs 10
    • Plisat 10.1
    • Shqiponjat 10.2
    • Intelektualët 10.3
    • Arpagjik't 10.4
  • Sports venues 11
  • International sports membership 12
  • Accepted membership applications 13
  • Kosovar sportspeople 14
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • External links 17


Location of teams of the 2013–14 Football Superleague of Kosovo

The most popular Football Federation of Kosovo.[1] The other three professional division are the first league that includes 16 teams, and the second and third league. There are also semi-professional and amateur football clubs that are active as well. The main Cup competition in Kosovo is the Republic of Kosovo Cup, which is open to every men's football team that are part of the Football Federation of Kosovo. The most successful clubs are FC Prishtina (14 championship titles), KF Vëllaznimi (8 championship titles), KF Trepça (7 championship titles), KF Liria (5 championship titles), and KF Besa (3 championship titles).[3]

The two main clubs in football are FC Prishtina and KF Trepça who have achieved great success in football so far. The football Club Prishtina FC was founded in 1922, while KF Trepça was founded ten years later in 1932. KF Trepça was part of the 1976-77 championship in the former Yugoslavia League in Football. One year later they reached a huge success since they were able to play in the final for the former Yugoslavia Cup. FC Prishtina became the first member of the League in 1983, and it achieved the biggest victory after they beat Red Star in Belgrade. During this time Fadil Vokrri has impressed all by his talent as it was part of so-called “Golden Generation” of Prishtina.

Nowadays, in many European teams there are players from Kosovo how had the opportunity to show their talents and values. Thus, Lorik Cana was the captain of Olympique de Marseille and Sunderland A.F.C, while Valon Behrami who played for West Ham United F.C., and currently is playing for FC Napoli. There are other players who had the opportunity to play for European Football Teams such as Xherdan Shaqiri, who plays as a midfielder for FC Bayern Munich and for the Switzerland national football team.[4] Nowadays, the Kosovo Football Federation is preparing for the first national friendly match against Haiti. Kosovo's national football team will play their first official friendly match in the northern city of Mitrovica on March 5. The friendly match against Haiti will be Kosovo's first match after FIFA gave the permission to play friendly matches on 13 January 2014.[5]


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in

  • Olympic Committee of Kosovo
  • The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

External links

  1. ^ a b "History of Football in Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kosovo Football Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tables of Kosovo Football Champions since 1945". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "History of Sports in Kosovo". The President of Kosovo Office. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  5. ^ [2) "kosovos-national-football-team-to-play-1st-official-match-against-haiti"]. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Basketball in Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Balkan League". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Balkan League/ Team History". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Federation of Basketball in Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sigal Prishtina, the champion of Kosovo Cup". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Kosovo Judo Federation was accepted as full member of the International Judo Federation.". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Information about Kosovo Judo Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi: A long tough road to London via Albania". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Politics bears down on 2012 hopeful Majlinda Kelmendi". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "IJF World Championship Juniors 2010". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi kosovos first judo world title". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Kosovo Handball Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "European Handball Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Kosovo Handball Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Kosovo Handball Federation". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Volleyball Federation in Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Volleyball Federation in Kosovo/Clubs". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Actual Champion in Volleyball". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Athletics Federation of Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "The statute of AFK". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Federation of Athletics current table". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "Federation of Athletics/Ministry of Sport". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  28. ^ "The calendar of games 2013/14". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  29. ^ "Local Tournaments of Chess in Kosovo". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "First league of chess". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "Second league". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  32. ^ a b "The history of tennis". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  33. ^ "Kosovo tennis goes international". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "Federation of Tennis/Ministry of Sports". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "Kosovo is accepted in international games". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  36. ^ Albaniada' brings back traditional sports and games"'". Zëri newspapper. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  37. ^ Albaniada", a competition event to promote and cultivate cultural heritage""". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  38. ^ "It has been organized the Olympic of Traditional Albanian Sports". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "Fan clubs in Kosovo". 
  40. ^ "Historic of FanClub". FC Prishtina. 
  41. ^ "Fan clubs in Kosovo". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  42. ^ "Drita Fanclub historic". FC Drita Fanclub. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  43. ^ "The Official Fanclub webpage". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  44. ^ "World Stadiums". World Stadiums. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  45. ^ "internationalization of the sport in kosovo".,91. Ministry of Sports-Kosovo. 
  46. ^ Basholli, Arlind (20 February 2014). "They depend on the application of Kosovo Olympic Committee". Arena: 8–9. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  47. ^ "IOC grants provisional recognition to Kosovo Olympic Committee". International Olympic Committee. 22 October 2014. 
  48. ^ FIFA Emergency Committee confirms friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of Kosovo, FIFA Official Website, 13 January 2014 
  49. ^ "EMF members list"
  50. ^ Ministri Krasniqi: Minigolfi një shembull, jo vetëm në Kosovë, por edhe në rajon, për organizim të mirëfilltë, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo 2012-04-20 (in Albanian)
  51. ^ "146 Member Associations - FITA Directory" (pdf). International Archery Federation. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  52. ^ "FITA admit Kosovo as a full member". 
  53. ^ "Kosovo joins world boxing body as Balkan province uses sport to gain global recognition". Washington Post. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  54. ^ "Official FILA site". 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2010-04-28. ]
  55. ^ a b c "Kosovo faces uphill task for sporting recognition",, 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  56. ^ Ministri Krasniqi takoi kryetarin e Federatës Ndërkombëtare të Xhudos, z. Marius Vizer, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo, 2012-04-20 (in Albanian)
  57. ^ The Kosovo Judo Federation was accepted as full member of the International Judo Federation, International Judo Federation, 2012-04-20
  58. ^ "Kosovo Become Latest ISAF Member National Authority". International Sailing Federation. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  59. ^ FIS Membership upgrade
  60. ^ "Kosovo Softball Federation wins international recognition" 14 August 2008 Link accessed 2008-08-14
  61. ^ ITTF Membership
  62. ^ "More recognitions for Kosovo sports" 28 June 2008 Link accessed 2008-06-28
  63. ^ IWF affiliates new members, International Weightlifting Federation
  64. ^ Kosovo Curling Federation becomes provisional world body member, Inside the Games, 21 October 2012
  65. ^ [1]
  66. ^ [2]


See also

Kosovar sportspeople

Entity Notes Status Date
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Kosovo is allowed to play international football with members of the FIFA (excluding all Former-Yugoslavian countries), as of January 13, 2014.[48] However, no national (state) symbols or anthem of Kosovo should be displayed beside the ones on the players' uniforms logo. The matches would have to be approved by the Serbian Football Federation. FIFA will work as an intermediary on this, having been notified at least 21 days in advance. Provisional 13 January 2014
European Minigolfsport Federation (EMF) Kosovo became a member of the EMF, April 2012.[49][50] Member 20 April 2012
International Archery Federation (FITA) FITA admitted Kosovo as a full member.[51][52] Member 1 July 2011
International Boxing Association (AIBA) Kosovo became AIBA's 195th federation in July 2012. Full membership status will be confirmed at a future meeting.[53] Provisional 9 July 2012
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) FILA admitted Kosovo as not full member but an associated federation.[54] Associate 9 June 2008
European Handball Federation (EHF) Kosovo became an associated federation of the [55] Associate 2004
International Judo Federation (IJF) The IJF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[56][57] Member 10 April 2012
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) The ISAF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[58] Member 8 May 2012
International Ski Federation (FIS) Kosovo has had observer status in the ISF since 2004, prior to DOI.[55][59] Provisional 7 November 2011
International Softball Federation (ISF) The ISF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[60] Member 12 August 2008
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Kosovo became a full member in 2003, prior to its declaration of independence.[55][61] Member 21 May 2003
International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) The IWF admitted Kosovo as a full member.[62][63] Member 18 June 2008
World Curling Federation (WFC) The WFC admitted the Kosovo Curling Federation as a provisional member at its 2012 annual general assembly in Scotland.[64] Provisional 21 October 2012
International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) The UIPM admitted the Kosovo Pentathlon Union as a full member at its 2013 Annual Congress in Cyprus.[65] Member 29 November 2013
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) The WTF admitted the Kosovo Taekwondo Federation at its 2013 Annual Congress.[66] Provisional 14 July 2013

The following sports federations have either admitted or have received the application from Republic of Kosovo to be admitted into their membership.

Accepted membership applications

[47] On 22 October 2014 the IOC announced that it had granted provisional recognition to the Kosovo Olympic Committee and proposed that it be granted full recognition at the IOC Session to be held in December 2014.[46]. The acceptance of Kosovo in the International Olympic Committee would have been a significant positive impact in accepting other sport federations in the international level. But the Olympic Committee of Kosovo plans to apply this year, because during the last visit of the International Olympic Committee members, in 2012 they said that Kosovo isn't still ready,but this year they think it is the perfect time to applyInternational Olympic Committee did not apply to join the Olympic Committee of Kosovo. Currently Kosovo federations are full members of seven international federations, provisional members of four international federations, associated members of two international federations and members of 1 European federation. However a big problem for the international membership process of Kosovo sport federations is that the Serbia from declaration of independence in the 1990s and has applied to become a member of many more after its 17 February 2008 unilateral international sports federations Kosovo was a part of several [45] For a long time in

International sports membership

Rank Stadium Capacity City Home team
1 Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari 28,500 Mitrovica KF Trepça
2 City Stadium (Pristina) 16,200 Pristina FC Prishtina
3 City Stadium (Gnjilane) 15,000 Gnjilane KF Drita
4 Përparim Thaçi Stadium 15,000 Prizren KF Liria
5 Riza Lushta Stadium 12,000 Kosovska Mitrovica KF Trepça'89
6 Agron Rama Stadium 10,000 Obiliq KF KEK
7 Shahin Haxhiislami Stadium 8,500 Pejë KF Besa
8 City Stadium (Gjakova) 6,000 Gjakova KF Vëllaznimi
9 Demush Mavraj Stadium 6,000 Istok KF Istogu
10 Ferki Aliu Stadium 5,000 Vushtrri KF Kosova Vushtrri
11 Llukar Stadium 3,000 Pristina KF Beselidhja
12 Ismet Shabani Stadium 2,000 Ferizaj KF Ferizaj
13 City Stadium (Besianë) 2,000 Podujevë KF Llapi
14 Merdare Stadium 2,000 Podujevë KF Hysi
15 Flamurtari Stadium 2,000 Prishtina KF Flamurtari
16 Bajram Aliu Stadium 2,000 Skënderaj KF Drenica


Sports venues

The fan clubs in traditional songs, costumes and traditional dances headed the local stadium that now is called "Përparim Thaçi",just to support their football club at that time. After the war in Kosovo the appearances started and the fans started to call their selves Arpagjik't. After the first season groups like Arpagjik't and The Panthers merged their forces under the same name- Arpagjik't. The first flag within the Panthers was the one prepared in 2001, 20 by 7 meters,in which was written "Go Bashkimi,Go Panthers". The first days under the name Arpagjik't were very successful because the fan club distributed over 400 fan membership cards,with whom the fans could watch the matches without paying anything.This was a new era for the ultras in Prizren under one name. The aim of the fan club is to prepare the city stadium and the local indoor arenas in which the local clubs play games,prepare the stands with requisites,flags and club scarfs. Arpagjik't is one of the biggest fanclubs in the after war era in Kosovo.[43]


Founded 2000 (2000)
Arena "Përparim Thaçi" Stadium , Prizren
Location Prizren, Kosovo
Team colors Black and Orange

This Kosovo they brought a different era in the Albanian ultras-culture.[42]


Founded 1998 (1998)
Arena City Stadium , Gjilan
Location Gjilan, Kosovo
Team colors White and Blue

Shqiponjat(English:The Eagles) fan club is founded on 13 of December 1993 in Peć. This fan club got their name by the symbol of the Albanian mountains - the Albanian Eagle. They are supporting the Peć teams like in KF Besa in football, KB Peja in basketball and KH Besa in handball.


Founded 1993 (1993)
Arena Karagaq
Location Pejë, Kosovo
Team colors Black and Yellow

Plisat were supporting the team also before the Kosovo war. After the war ended Plisat started to support also their basketball team and handball teams,then they started to shape their 'support style' cheering their teams in different ways-followed by different choreography in the stands of the city stadium in Prishtina. Plisat these days are the most famous fan club in Kosovo.[40]

This fan club is founded on 1987 from the supporters of FC Prishtina back in that time and got their name by the traditional Albanian cap called Plis. Usually the members of this fan club stand in the east side of the City Stadium (Pristina) while supporting their team in football.[39] They are known also for the public as "the 12th player" of FC Prishtina just from their massive support they do during the game-no matter losing or wining. They have traveled to Cacak in the early 80's,they have been more than 7000 in Marakana, Beograd on 1983 in the famous victory against Crvena zvezda.


Founded 1987 (1987)
Arena City Stadium (Pristina)
Location Pristina, Kosovo
Team colors White and Blue

Kosovan people are known for the support they show for their local teams. There are three big fan clubs: Plisat supporting Pristina, Shqiponjat supporting Peć and Intelektualet supporting Gjilan teams.

Sports fan clubs

Albaniada is an event that is aimed to be traditional-gathers together people from all Albanian territories,where young and old people play traditional games and sports the main goal of this event is to 'bring back to life' games and sports that Albanian ancestors have been playing many years ago.[36] Some of the traditional sports are Hats (Kapuça), Measure and Stick (Kut e Kleçkë), Crouch (Guxhas), Ball-on-Horse (top-n-kali), Arm Wrestling (rrëzim i duarve), Bag Hopping (vrapim me thes), Leg Wrestling (rrëzim i këmbëve), Boards (rrasash), Capture the Handkerchief (kapja e shamise), Rope Pull(tërheqja e litarit), Stone Throwing Sideways (gurapesh me dy duar anash), Overhead Stone Throwing (gurapesh prapa), Single-Hand Stone Throwing and Swords (Shpatash).[37] This kind of sports can be played in an indoor environment like [38]

Young and old people playing traditional sports.

Traditional sports

Tennis in Kosovo is governed by the Federation of Tennis in Kosovo. Kosovo Tennis Federation, founded in 1992, has 300 active players belonging to different age group. KT Prishtina was founded on the 27 June 1992 and is the oldest club in Kosovo. It has many players who are ranked pretty high in the Kosovo rankings list and it has its own tennis school and many coaches. The club consists of 230 members, 55% of which are females. Whereas, KT Trepca was founded on 15 July 2003, as it has its own tennis school which consists of 47 students.[32] The main objectives of the association is to group the teams and organized games between the clubs.[33] Presently, there are 10 clubs such as KT Prishtina, KT DielliX, KT Trepca, and KT Rahoveci.[34] The federation is officially accepted in the International Tennis Federations(ITF) as the players from Kosovo are permitted to play in international games under the banner of ITF.[35] This is a huge step toward the internationalization of tennis. The most famous with the highest participation tourneys are Sporek Open, Dielli Open, Trepca Open, Drenica Open,Prishtina Open and Masters.[32]


[29] The champions mention above are part of the clubs divided by the federation into two categories: The first category is the First League, where some of the clubs are Minatori, NLB Prishtina, Hyzri Talla, Istogu, and Lamkos.[30] Whereas, clubs in the Second League are Ferizaji, Shpeta, Vitia and Shara.[31]


Athletics is a sport that includes running, walking, jumping, and throwing and is evidenced since the athletics in Kosovo.[24] Athletics Federation of Kosovo was found in 25 September in 1991, Prishtine. Some of the main responsibilities for the federation are to promote athletics in Kosovo, lead the development of athletics, coordinate the progress of the quality of athletics, and to adapt and implement short and long curriculum development in athletics.[25] This association would not be so successful without the important achievement from their respective clubs. There are 13 active clubs, but the most successful ones are Atberia, Besa, Juniku, Llapi, Prishtina, Prizreni, and Trepca.[26] From 25 clubs there are 196 males registered and 125 females registered assembling a total of 330 active athletics in Kosovo.[27] Among many other activates, the ones in which athletics from their respective clubs were part recently are "Krosi i Bardhe" in Prishtina, "Vrapimi i Paversise" in Junik, "Pranvera Studentore" in Gjilan, and "Kampionati i Kosoves ne Kros" in Prishtina. Currently, the association is preparing for the half marathon in Prishtina, one of the most important events that will be held on 11 May 2014.[28]


[23] The current champion is KV Luboteni.[22]


Even handball teams such as Borci, Prishtina and Trepca had the opportunity to play in the first league of the former Yugoslavia. Some of the players who had a great representation were Aziz Makiqi, Hasan Bajrami, and Tahir Sojeva.

Now in Kosovo exists handball super league (major league), cup of Kosovo, first league, junior’s league, cadet’s league in both categories Women and Man.Another part of Kosovo Handball Federation is beach handball. Participating clubs in super league are : Besa Famiglia, Prishtina,Kosova, Kastrioti, Zhegra, Drenica, Vëllaznimi, Trepça, Samadrexha, Llapi, Drita. The current champion is KH Prishtina.[20]

Many attempts were made for the internationalization of handball however this did not succeed until December 18, 2004 where Kosovo handball federation accepted in European handball federation with conditional rights . After this year Kosovo’s teams as KH Prishtina, KH Besa Famiglia, KH Kastrioti participated in European competitions.[18] The greatest success was achieved in Cell Cup tournament in Hungary in 2013, the Kosovo U18 representative took second place in a strong competition with teams from across Europe.[19]

From 13-23.10.1979 in Kosovo was held women’s World Junior Championships “Kosova ‘79”. This was a great achievement because participated countries as : Austria, USSR, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Norway, Germany, FR Germany and U.S.A.[17]

Handball in Kosovo has had a long history. First teams in big handball were formed during the years in 1948 as Milicionari, Jedinstvo e Gjakovës, Buduçnosti i Pejës, Trepça e Mitrovicës, Kosova e Prishtinës etc. While small handball (today's handball) was introduced during 1950–1951 years. Handball teams did succeed to join the first and second leagues of the former Yugoslavia, that tim(1970-1980) was among the strongest leagues in the world.


International Judo Federation.[11] Presently, there are 12 clubs active from different cites of Kosovo. The number of participants from all the clubs is 750 Males and 250 Females. Whereas the number of active coaches is 25.[12] The most successful one is Driton Kuka who was a champion for many years. He won the bronze medal at the European Championship in 1990, and the World Cup in Hungary in 1991. Nowadays, Driton Kuka is the coach of the Majlinda Kelmendi, a judoka from Pejë the represents Kosovo in all competition in Judo.[13] Majlinda Kelmendi who won the gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships in Paris, France.[14] She finished the fifth in the 2010 World Junior Championships in Morocco, and ninth in the 52 category at the 2010 World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Japan.[15] However, she was not allowed to represent Kosovo at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London due to the resistance of International Olympic Committee and the United Nations. Majlinda Kelmendi gave Kosovo the first judo world title on 27 August 2013, as she beat Erika Miranda, a Brazil judoka in the 52 kilograms gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro. In 2013, she was raked the first in the international rankings by the International Judo Federation in the 52 kg category.[16]

Sport in Kosovo
Medal record
Women's Judo
Competitor for Kosovo
World Championships
Gold 2013 Rio de Janeiro −52 kg
Competitor for IJF
European Championships
Bronze 2013 Budapest −52 kg


One of the most famous club in basketball was called Elektricisti as they were part of the second division of the former Yugoslavia, while Zyfer Avdiu, a basketball player of the Eleketricisti has played for the basketball national team of Yugoslavia when they were part of European Basketball League.Women's competition has been much more successful as team Universititi was ranked among the best teams.

[10].Sigal Prishtina The current champion is [9] Participating teams in ETC Super league are : Sigal Prishtina, Peja,Trepça, Bashkimi, Drita, Besa,RTV 21,Kastrioti.[8]

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