England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania on Sunday evening is in danger of being cancelled.
The match is due to take place at the Air Albania Stadium in the country’s capital of Tirana.
However, in a statement published in the Albanian Daily News, the Albanian Football Association (AFA) has said that there are security concerns.
The beginning of the statement reads: “Today in the Albanian Football Federation has arrived a letter, from the Local Police Directorate of Tirana, with the signature of the First Director, Rebani Jaupi, which states that the structures of the Local Police Directorate do not guarantee the taking of measures before, during and after the Albania-England match, on March 28, 2021 at 18:00.”
The AFA added that it has requested “urgent response of these structures”, and said if the match was cancelled it would have “catastrophic consequences” for the image of the country.
They said: “The cancellation of the Albania-England match, scheduled to be played at ‘Air Albania Stadium’, would have catastrophic consequences for the image of our country, the National Team and in general for Albanian football.”
Request for fans rejected by Albanian prime minister
Earlier in the week, the AFA asked Prime Minister Edi Rama to allow for 30 per cent of the ground’s seats to be filled. That would constitute 6,500 fans, dependent on whether they had received a Covid-19 vaccination.
The request was rejected, reported Sky Sports, due to rising daily cases of the virus.
Albania begin their World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday evening, when they face an away tie against Andorra.
They are due to travel to San Marino next Wednesday.
Albania qualified for their first major tournament in reaching Euro 2016.
They were knocked out in the group stage, but defeated Romania 1-0 in their last match in the competition.
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