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Albania vs England: Security issue puts World Cup Qualifying game in Tirana at serious risk

England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania in Tirana on Sunday could be called off due to a security issue.

The Albanian FA (AFA) have said they have been informed by local police they cannot guarantee team safety for the Group I clash.

No lockdown measures are in place in the country and the qualifier is set to be played behind-closed-doors.

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The AFA statement reads: “Today a letter arrived which states that the structures of the local police directorate of Tirana can’t guarantee the taking of measures before, during and after the Albania-England match on 28 March.

“Faced with the situation where the state authorities did not react after the request of the Albanian Football Federation for the release of spaces on the perimeter of the national stadium, we request urgent response of these structures.

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.

The English FA have responded: “We will continue to liaise with the relevant authorities.”

The statement comes after a request from the AFA to allow a restricted number of vaccinated fans to attend was rejected by the government.

England open their World Cup qualifying campaign against San Marino at Wembley Stadium on Thursday night.

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