International Webinar on “Sports diplomacy and its role in promoting Kosovo stateship” held at AAB College

8 September 2021

Organized by the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, in cooperation with the Kosovo Institute for Sports, the second round of the international webinar “Sports diplomacy and its role in promoting Kosovo stateship” was held at AAB College.

The management team of AAB College, vice-rectors Shemsedin Vehapi, Uranela Demaj and the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education, Fatmir Pireva, were joined in this conference by Mr. Lorik Cana, Attaché for Youth, Culture and Sports at the Albanian Embassy in Rome, and former captain of the Albanian Football National Team; Mrs. Silvija Mitevska, Sports Advisor to the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia; Mr. Gavin Price, Bond University Australia, SOAS University of London and co-author of Towards a Welsh Sports Diplomacy Strategy; Mr. Grant Jarvie, University of Edinburgh and Toronto, former Adviser to the Scottish Government; Mrs. Albana Murra, AAB College alumni, marketing specialist; Mr. Loïc Tregoures, Catholic Institute of Paris, France, author of the book in French “Football in Yugoslav Chaos” and Mr. Juan Manuel Montoro, Kosovo Research and Analysis, PhD candidate at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

On this occasion, Vice Rector Shemsedin Vehapi said that this webinar is particularly important one, because it is taking place two or three days before the World Cup qualifying match of Kosovo Vs Spain. “We are taking small steps that will affect policy-makers in Kosovo and also in Spain. We as AAB College are ready to give all we can in our support of the sport.”, said Vehapi.

Adnan Ahmeti from the Kosovo Institute for Sports said that although our country is only 13 years old, so far it has participated in two Olympics, and has won three medals, courtesy of our women athletes. “It is time for Kosovo to have its own strategy of sports diplomacy. This is a signal for Kosovo policymakers that they should do more for sports diplomacy and sports in general,” said Ahmeti.

Lorik Cana, former captain of the Albanian National Football Team, currently attaché for youth, culture and sports at the Albanian Embassy in Rome, also spoke about the importance of sports in diplomacy. He said that football was his “voice” to promote national identity and lobby for our rights as a nation. “Diplomacy is a power of the people. When you have people with you who share your values, you have the power of diplomacy as an ambassador and representative of your country. We have to look no further than the case of Majlinda Kelmendi in Russia who became a judo champion representing Kosovo and the flag, which would be an impossible feat without sports “, said Cana.

In this webinar, it was concluded that sport remains a powerful tool to promote our country, our culture, and our values when we want to achieve the objectives of foreign policy as a state.