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Kosovo government gives financial reward to national team

Kosovo Turkey Soccer

Supporters of Kosovo’s national soccer team raise Kosovo flag during their international friendly soccer match at Adem Jashari Stadium in Mitrovica, Kosovo on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Kosovo host Turkey for their second friendly match of the country’s national football team. Turkey won the match 6-1. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

AP

TIRANA, Albania (AP) Kosovo’s government has decided to give a reward of 500,000 euros ($570,000) to the national soccer team as a reward for topping their group in the UEFA Nations League and securing at least a playoff spot in qualifying for the 2020 European Championship.

Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, has only been a UEFA and FIFA member since 2016.

The small Balkan republic routed Azerbaijan 4-0 in Pristina on Tuesday to win Group 3 of the lower-tiered League D and get promoted to League C for the next Nations League.

Playing in the playoffs could give Kosovo a shortcut to Euro 2020, which would be a huge sporting success for the country.