The new book of Giovanni Armillotta: Almanaku i kategorisė sė dytė (1930/2008-09) dhe i futbollit shqiptar — Almanacco della Serie B (1930/2008-09) e del calcio albanese — Yearbook of Football Second National Level (1930/2008-09) and of Albanian Soccer


About the officiality of some international friendly matches of Albanian Soccer National Representative, and generally on officiality of international friendly matches
between National Representatives

by Giovanni Armillotta
RSSSF Member

All we know that in the history of World Soccer Federations there are many international friendly matches which – though not recognized by FIFA or UEFA – they are instead recognized by National Federations. For example Albania-Montenegro 5-0 (September 22nd, 1946) is considered official by Albanian Football Federation (Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit): for this reason the international friendly matches between National Representatives, they need an explanation according to international law and international relations history.
We must consider the history of Football from the foundation of it (October 26th, 1863) and not from the FIFA (May 21st, 1904) or UEFA (June 15th, 1954) ones. Infact if you read the official matches-lists of four British Federations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), they count their activities from 1872 (Scotland-England 0-0, November 30th), 1876 (Scotland-Wales 4-0, March 25th) and 1882 (Ireland [then united]-England 0-13, Feb 18th); and the first official tournament was British International Championship started in 1883-84 and won by Scotland. These British Federations (and others) don’t enumerate matches and international tournaments only from 1904.
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are FIFA members from XX century, but they count their official matches from XIX century and not only in their subscription years, and they count their official matches also in years in which they have not been in FIFA: the right thing at the then right time, let’s be fair!
Infact England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have not been in FIFA from 1904, but:
ENGLAND in 1905-20, 1924-28, and from 1946 to date (but in 1921-23 and 1928-45 it has not been in!);
NORTHERN IRELAND in 1911-20, 1924-28, and from 1946 to date (but in 1921-23 and 1928-45 it has not been in!);
SCOTLAND in 1910 to date;
WALES in 1910-20, 1924-28, and from 1946 to date (but in 1921-23 and 1928-45 it has not been in!). What do we must do? We annull all the official matches of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales played during the out-FIFA years?
For this reason Albania-Montenegro 5-0 is official, because in its domestic jurisdiction, Albania decided it, thanks to the studies done by Dr. Besnik Dizdari, illustrated in two very magisterial books: Historia e Kombėtares..., Dituria, Tiranė, 1993 and Libri i Kombėtares (1936-2001), Futbolli Shqiptar, Tiranė, 2001. Besides – pay attention! – in 1946 Montenegro it’s true has not been in FIFA, but according to international law it was formally more independent than – for example – Scotland. Scotland has been from May 1st, 1707, a SIMPLE REGION of United Kingdom; while Montenegro was in 1946 a REPUBLIC of former Federative Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia (nowadays Serbia-Montenegro). For these reasons I think it’s the decision of a Federation that gives officiality the match, and not the existence of a Confederation “super partes”. The Confederation organizes the game, but doesn’t invade the domestic jurisdiction of its National Associations. There are many National Federations which played a lot of official matches before entering in FIFA (all the former Soviet Republics, tens of others, et cetera); for example the same Kosova played vs. Albania on September 6th, 2002 (*); for that reason if tomorrow Kosova will enter in FIFA, Kosova-Albania 0-1 is already official from on September 6th, 2002!
Another example: when Italy-Croatia 4-0 (April 5th, 1942) has been played, Croatian Football Association was recognized by FIFA in 1941 (then Croatia merged in Yugoslavia, and CFA dissolved; after Yugoslav dissolution Croatia again in FIFA from 1992, see FIFA-Directory 2003, p. 70), nevertheless it’s the 157th official match of Italian National Representative according to Italian Football Game Federation (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio)... what should we do? to annull Italy-Croatia, and cancel it from the annals of Italian Football and of Croatian Football Association (Hrvatski Nogometni Savez) one?
Regarding Albanian Olympic matches I think that is not technically correct to count the five matches of Albanian Olympic Team in Albanian National Representative (Kombėtarja) ones, because – according to my studies in matters – Albanian Olympic Representative has a proper history.
The match of 1967 vs. Bulgaria “Under 23” (Team “A” was finalist in 1966 Word Cup final phase, and runners-up in 1968 Tokyo Olimpic Games) was organized by Albanian Football Association in praise of A.O.R., which did’nt play vs. U.S.S.R. (for political reasons) in Group A of first round of 1966 Olympic eliminatory. Here my history of A.O.R.:

Date Venue Match Event Head Coach Albanian Goals
Jun 2, 1963 Tiranė Albania-Bulgaria “Olympic” 0-1 OG64-el L. Boriēi -
Jun 16, 1963 Sofia Bulgaria “Olympic”-Albania 1-0 OG64-el L. Boriēi -
[1966] - Albania-USSR “Olympic”(Albania withdrew for political reasons) OG68-el: Gr A 1st round L. Boriēi -
Mar 22, 1967 Tiranė Albania-Bulgaria “Olympic” 2-0 (the year after Bulgaria “Olympic” runners-up in Tokio Olympic Games) (**) Friendly L. Boriēi ?
Apr 18, 1971 Bucharest Romania “Olympic”-Albania 2-1 OG72-el: 1st round Gr 4 L. Boriēi Zhega 55’ (1-1)
May 25, 1971 Tiranė Albania-Romania “Olympic” 1-2 OG72-el: 1st round Gr 4 L. Boriēi Pano 29’ (1-0)
Jan 28, 1988 Kavajė Albania-Romania “Olympic” 1-0 Friendly M. Zhega,
D. Bajaziti
Kushta 70’
Feb 2, 1988 Durrės Albania-Romania “Olympic”0-0 Friendly M. Zhega,
D. Bajaziti
Jun 30, 1991 Salonika Albania-Algeria “Olympic” 2-1 XI MG-Gr B N. Bajko Vasi 35’ (1-0),
Barbullushi 84’ (2-1)
Jul 2, 1991 Salonika Greece “Olympic”-Albania 5-0 XI MG-Gr B N. Bajko -

OG=Olympic Games; MG=Mediterranean Games
For Albanian participations in 1992, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games eliminatory rounds, see Under 21 (Shpresa) years: 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2002-2003 (Albania didn’t participate in eliminatories of Olympic Games 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1996); while for Albanian participations in XIII 1997 Mediterranean Games, took part Under 23 (Shpresa).


*: First match between Albania and Kosova has been played on February 14th, 1993. But this match wasn’t between National Representatives but between Selection of Albania vs. Selection of Kosova 3-1 (Tiranė, Stadium Dinamo [nowadays Selman Stėrmasi]; goals: Abazi 39’ [A. 1-0], Seferi 40’ [owngoal A. 2-0], Fortuzi 49’ [A. 3-0], Sahiti 50’ [K. 3-1]); Referees: B. Pregja, H. Yeskaj, P. Brahja (Tiranė). See: “Sporti”, February 16th, 1993, N. 6 (2981), p. 10.

**: According to Albanian RSSSF Member Fatjon Pandovski, Albania-Bulgaria 2-0, is considered an Official Match of Bulgaria National Representative by all sources of Bulgaria Media and Federation as match #199 (and match #198 is a match on the same date March 22nd, 1967 against Federal Republic of Germany, in match which both Bulgaria and Germany played with their “A” National Team). While according to Bulgarian RSSSF Member Iordan Tsirov and his Bulgarian sources the game is given as Albania “A” vs. Bulgaria “Olympic”; Tsirov said too: «The source from where I get this – a book from the 70s – suggests that that’s how the Bulgarian Football Union regarded this game. I’d still have more faith in what Albanian statisticians have to say about it, as they can easily compare the squad with the ‘regular’ “A” team squad for Albania at the time. As far as I know back in the 60s, 70s etc the line between an “Olympic” and an “A” side for the countries in Eastern Europe was very vague on the first place too».