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'Forever grateful to you, our beloved England': Kosovo fans relish match between their two most-cherished nations

 Fans of Kosovo show their support ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match between England and Kosovo at St. Mary's Stadium
Kosovo fans have gone to Southampton in huge numbers Credit: Getty images

They had come from all over Europe and across the United Kingdom to St Mary’s Stadium for a game that means more to the young nation of Kosovo than just another Euro 2020 qualifier in the life of this country and its emergent football team.

There were, according to official sources, 20,000 Kosovans expected in Southampton for the game against England and only 10,000 among them with tickets – an international away support like no other. They had certainly come to support their team, currently on a 15-game unbeaten run and fresh from victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday, but they also have a deep affection for British football and the British in general.

Kristian Gashi, 30, a Kosovo supporter...

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