With KF Tirana confirmed as league champions, Football Association of Albania (FSHF) president Armando Duka is looking to stem violence in domestic football.
While Tirana confirmed their title success with a 1-0 win against FK Partizani on Wednesday, there remains a danger that the season will be remembered not for their exploits on the pitch, but the violent scenes that tarnished some games, with match officials being assaulted at several games. Moreover, concerns have been raised about match-fixing in Albanian league games.
Perhaps the most disturbing incident of the season came in November when former Tirana coach Sulejman Mema, who was working as an FSHF match delegate, was attacked in his dressing room after a second tier game between KS Burrel and KS Erzeni and badly beaten, spending 15 days in intensive care. Match officials were regularly subject to abuse and intimidation in other matches.
"I think the violence at these matches is caused by people with power, whose only concern is for their team to win regardless of the cost," Duka told uefa.com. "The violence at matches is caused by the VIPs in the stands, not the players. There were fewer confrontations between players and referees this year but there is still a lot of work to be done."
He added: "We are working with the clubs, the interior ministry and the police to improve security but certain people have a very hard time following the rules and we have to stop that. Our observers were attacked on a few occasions in the cities of Berat and Burrel and because of that we banned the teams concerned, who were automatically suspended and relegated."
However, while he accepted that violence was a worrying element of Albanian football, Duka was not convinced that the impressive form of the league's top clubs in the final rounds of the season represented evidence of match-fixing. "Teams who need to get results raise their game and their results improve," he said, adding: "If I ever see evidence of match-rigging then the teams and individuals involved would be banned for a long time."
In other Albanian news, KS Besa have been left without a coach following the dismissal of Vasil Bici. Besa play KS Teuta in the Albanian Cup final on Wednesday.
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