That became apparent. In the World Cup qualifier between Kosovo and Spain, the Balkan state was not mentioned by name.
The Spanish public broadcaster “TVE”, which broadcast the game live in the Kosovar capital Pristina, avoided pronouncing the name of the state. As several posts in social networks showed, there was often talk of the “Representation of the Territory of Kosovo” or the team of the Kosovar Association. Or once only from “the people in blue”.
Even before the game – like last Sunday when Greece visited the Fadil Vokrri Stadium – there were whistles from around 1,300 fans in the stadium when the Spanish anthem was played – more were not allowed. Some fans in the stands remained seated in protest at the Spanish anthem.
When the Kosovar hymn was played, a huge flag was drawn over the stands and the name of the state was written in large letters.
Spain still does not recognize the sovereignty of Kosovo, as do the EU states Romania, Cyprus, Greece or Slovakia. On the Iberian Peninsula, this has mainly to do with the fear of separatist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Before the two teams met for the first time in March, there was even a boycott of the Kosovar team. The guests had threatened to resign if the anthem was not played or the flag was not hoisted. None of that happened, the Spaniards won 3-1.
However, even then the Spanish public radio had abbreviated Kosovo only with lower case letters. Even the commentator hadn't mentioned the name back then.