Kosovo start recruiting

Newly independent Kosovo is going to want everything other nations have, including a national football team. They will now look to recruit players who might even have played for other countries, if they can secure agreements with the applicable federations.

Players affected in Finland are Mehmet Hetemaj, Perparim Hetemaj,  Erfan Zeneli, Njazi Kuqi and Shefki Kuqi (not an exhaustive list). Perparim was on the news tonight saying that he hasn’t made his mind up yet, and whatever he decides to do he will feel like he is betraying someone.

It’s a first test for Baxter, as he is now well aware of Hetemaj and will have to decide how far he pushes things. Hetemaj has not played for the national side yet, and the fact that he hasn’t immediately declared for Kosovo suggests that this is a difficult decision for him and inclusion in a Finland squad would probably tip the balance.

I’m sure Baxter will be watching Apollon Kalamarias in the near future, all the more so as he has seen at close quarters how the Swedish FA managed to alienate Zlatan Muslimovic.


2 Responses

  1. Oh my god, hadn’t even thought of that. Shefki can go, he’s had his chances, but I’d like to see what Hetemaj’s have to offer.

    Football is obviously a lot more important than political balance, so… either it’s hetemaj-brothers to us or kosovo back to serbia.

    (And to prevent my house from being bombed: just kidding.)

  2. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, as I stated in the next post. More worryingly, and damagingly, is the effect of this disconnect on Perparim’s relationship with the coaching staff. Jyrki Heliskoski has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t rate Hetemaj, so he has a fair bit of convincing to do.

    He’d be well advised to keep his head down and start playing very well in the hope of becoming a regular with AEK next season. Then he will be undroppable.

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