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 By Ben Gladwell

Gianni De Biasi's Albania exit be 'as controversial' as Claudio Ranieri axe

Gianni De Biasi was a contender to replace Antonio Conte as Italy coach in 2016.

Gianni De Biasi says that if he were to lose his job as Albania coach, it would compare with Claudio Ranieri's dismissal as Leicester City manager.

De Biasi took charge of Albania in December 2011 and led them to their first ever European Championship finals last year. They did not make it beyond the group stage and they have already lost at home to Spain and Israel in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

But the 60-year-old believes that if the Albanian FA were to show him the door, it would be the...

Italy knights Albania coach Gianni de Biasi

Gianni de Biasi has been honoured for his contribution to Albania.

TIRANA, Albania -- Italy has awarded Gianni de Biasi, an Italian who coaches the Albanian national team, with the Medal of the Star, graded as a Knight, for promoting the country in the sport.

An embassy statement Wednesday said Italian Ambassador Alberto Cutillo awarded the medal to De Biasi the previous evening "for his contribution to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and to promote Albania's image abroad," adding that "before politics De Biasi managed to bring...

Attack on Israel national team prevented, Kosovo police say

Kosovo police said on Thursday they prevented simultaneous attacks by the Islamic State group, including on the Israel national team that played a World Cup qualifier in neighboring Albania.

A police statement said plans were in place to attack Saturday's match in Albania, and at the same time attack another target in Kosovo. Nineteen people were detained in Kosovo on Nov. 4, of whom one has since been released, police there said. Albania and Macedonia announced six more people detained.

The Kosovo...

Albania police using extreme security for Israeli qualifier

Albania play Israel in World Cup qualifying on Saturday.

Albanian police say they have taken extreme steps to secure the World Cup qualifier between Albania and Israel on Saturday.

The venue was changed for "security reasons" from the northern city of Shkoder, near the border with Montenegro, to Elbasan, nearer to Tirana.

The Elbasan Arena was 55 kilometres south of Tirana.

The decision followed media reports that an alleged terror group of 15 persons, arrested in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, planned an attack during the match.

A statement on Friday...