Kosovan fans hold up England flags during God Save The Queen and chant players’ names as they thank visitors for help during war 20 years ago
- Kosovo fans held up England flags as the God Save The Queen was played
- The host fans also chanted England players’ names at the stadium
- The gestures were part of an ongoing thank you for their part in the Kosovo War
- The war began in February 1998 before a NATO alliance helped end the war
Kosovo fans continued their welcoming gestures towards the England team and their supporters by holding up the St George’s flag before the start of the Euro 2020 qualifying match between the two nations.
As the England national anthem rang around the Fadil Vokrri Stadium, many Kosovo fans were seen holding the England flag aloft as a mark of respect.
A ‘Welcome & Respect’ banner was also being shown behind the goal, while they also chanted players’ names in Pristina.
Kosovo fans were seen holding up the flag of St George before kick-off on Sunday night
The gesture was part of the hosts thank you for Britain’s part in ending the Kosovo war
Videos were shared on social media in the buildup to the game of England and Kosovo fans joined together in bars around the capital of Pristina singing songs, including Three Lions.
The gestures were just the latest acts of kindness shown by the fans supporting the home side as a thank you for the country’s help in the Kosovo War, which began in February 1998.
The armed conflict between Yugoslavia and the Kosovo Liberation Army saw many civilians killed and a diplomatic solution fail.
That saw Britain, as part of international NATO alliance, take part in the controversial aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia before the war ended in June 1999.
In the days leading up to the match, Kosovo had demonstrated their gratitude by adorning their streets with ‘Welcome and Respect’ banners featuring a poppy and the English flag.
A local fan holds aloft a banner saying ‘forever thankful for England’ for their help in the war
Another supporter holds aloft a half-and-half Kosovo and England scarf before kick-off
The Kosovo squad also gave up their usual luxurious hotel to England before the final qualifying match for next summer’s tournament.
Kosovo coach Bernard Challandes spoke excitedly about the match in the buildup to Sunday night’s qualifier.
‘If you can remember when we began this European qualifiers I have always spoken about new experiences and progress, about improving,’ he said.
‘This game is a wonderful game with these objectives. At least I can say it is for us a wonderful challenge to play against one of the best teams in the world and perhaps now the best team in Europe.
‘If you see this qualification round from England no one has scored so much, the incredible offensive potential of this team: winning 7-0, 6-0, 5-0, 5-0, 5-0. Incredible!’
A Kosovo fan proudly displays the English flag ahead of kick-off between the two countries