- Ambassador, are you a football fan. If yes, which team do you support?
I am a football fan and I support a team from Berne, called the Young Boys. Until a couple of years ago I used to go regularly to the stadium with my son.
- Since you are the ambassador of Switzerland in Albania, have you seen the matches of the national team of Albania?
Since I have arrived in Albania, many football events have happened which I would say are historical. For instance the last two matches against Serbia. In Elbasan, I was sitting in the stadium. They were both tense and also necessary as a way for the two countries to overcome hostilities. And then Albania’s qualification to the European championship happened incidentally in the same group as Switzerland!
- What was your reaction when you learned that Switzerland was in the same group with Albania?
I was surprised and also happy. This is a great opportunity to highlight the excellent relations between Albania and Switzerland and create new ties between the people of two nations. I also immediately started to plan a screening event for the match at our Embassy in Tirana to enjoy the game with Albanian and Swiss guests.
- The foreign media consider this match as a ‘’derby’’, because there are at least 6 players with Albanian origin that play for Switzerland. Meanwhile, there are players of our national team that have the Swiss citizenship? What’s your regard about this, considering your diplomatic status?
It is of course very interesting that in the Swiss team a major part of players are of Albanian roots, and vice versa many Albanian team members have grown up in my country – this makes headlines and topics of discussion both in Switzerland and in Albania. I see this as a great link between our countries: we feel closer because of their presence. These talented players are professionals and they have the right and privilege to decide whether to represent Switzerland or Albania.
- With Kosovo joining UEFA and FIFA, a debate has spread about the football players with Albanian origin, whether they will play for Switzerland or with Kosovo. What is your opinion regarding this matter?
I believe there are enough good players in Switzerland, Albania and Kosovo. Why not see this as widened opportunities for more talented Albanians, whether they live here or in Switzerland.
6.What are your evaluations about the relations between Switzerland and Albania?
Our bilateral relations are excellent as is shown by more high level visits between our countries, and by the Swiss support to Albania’s integration efforts towards Europe. We are going through a positive phase of bilateral cooperation. I would be pleased to see even more commercial and economic transactions increase.
- Ambassador, the national team of Albania will play against Switzerland on 11 June, in Lens for the finals of the EURO 2016. Do you have any prediction?
My only prediction is that it will be a highly emotional and enjoyable game. I like to see it as a chance to celebrate the partnership between our two countries. Regardless of the result of the match, I think both sides can be considered winners, and the greatest winner of all will be our stronger friendship.
- Ambassador, I thank you for the interview and we hope that despite the result of the match of 11 June, the relations between the two countries will continue to be excellent.
I am convinced that both our Albanian friends and we the Swiss citizens will enjoy the match and our relations will continue to thrive. I congratulate the Albanian Football Federation for the great achievement of qualifying for Euro 2016 and look forward to more successes of the national football team in the future!