Memorje.al/The participation of our national football team in the finals of the European “France 2016”, is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in the history of Albanian sport, since their creation until today. But it must be said and accepted, that even before the ’90s, many teams of clubs, such as “Partizani”, “Vllaznia”, “17 Nëntori”, “Dinamo”, and up to “Flamurtari” of Vlora (which spent several rounds in European Cups), have made dignified appearances in many international meetings, achieving very satisfactory results for our time and country, one of the most backward on the continent. And at the same time raising the name of Albania and our national pride.
And not only football, but also many other athletes, such as the volleyball players of “Dinamo” (male and female), weightlifters, athletes, shooters, etc., etc., received gold medals and raised the flag of Albania in many European stadiums. And all those big names in sports, legends such as: Boriçi, Halili, Pano, Zhega, Bizi, Rragami, Hafizi, Bajaziti, Çeço, Ballgjini, Përnaska, Zëri, in football, Fagu, Papavangjeli, Shaka, Radoja e Çaçi in basketball, Russia, Uka, Doçi in volleyball (men), Tase, Ibrahimi, Qirici, Duni, Tasho (women), Mihali and Toska in athletics, Karabolli and Mata in shooting, Gërnjoti and Janku in boxing, Pampuri and Kondo in weightlifting, Guri e Fishta in wrestling, Muço and Dervishi in chess, Krifsa and Kërçiku in table tennis, and many others, who made eras in different periods of their career, and who need whole pages of newspapers to mentioned all, have remained in the memory of all Albanian sports fans and are remembered with extraordinary respect.
But it must also be said that those athletes gave a lot to the Albanian sport, the name of the homeland, and took a little from it, or more precisely from the regime in power in the early ’90s. But this was the smallest evil, as many athletes, with dozens of big names in Albanian sports, from those we mentioned a little above and many others, became the object of unmasking, were expelled from sports, were interned, were introduced until even in the prisons of that regime.
And this not only because of their family biography, but also for reasons as banal for that time, as well as ridiculous for the generation of young people today, who can not imagine how, big names of Albanian football, as the boys of “Flamurtari” of Vlora in the middle of the ’80s, which made the giants of “Barcelona” tremble, were stopped at our customs points, for a lighter, watch, gambling papers, pack of cigarettes, women’s scarf, radio-tape recorder , or rarely and a television set.
And for this fact, many of them were expelled from the sport forever or sent to the deepest villages of the country, like some of the footballers of “Vllaznia” about whom the following article is about. Even, starting from what awaited them in Albania, some did not return at all and sought political asylum, such as. Lulëzim Bërshemi and Arvid Hoxha, football players of the “Vllaznia” team in 1987, who are mentioned in these archival documents, who see the light of publication for the first time: Here is this document:
ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY
Shkodër, on 17.11.1987
DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEE
Nr. 15.02 Ex. Nr. 1
SUBJECT: Information on the events that occurred during the trip to Finland of the football team “Vllaznia” and on the measures taken on this occasion.
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF ALP
On November 1, 1987, he left for Finland for the return match with the “Rovienemin” team, the “Vllaznia” football team. On the way back, on 5.11.1987, in a Helsinki store, fourfootballers… (full name given in the archival document, editorial note) of the “Vllaznia” team have been caught by the regional police stealing loot. Relevant minutes have been made for each of them at the police station and at the insistence of the team leaders they have been left free to go. For this problem, the leaders have tried to calm down the team and the people themselves. After staying in Budapest, at 23:30 on 6.11.1987, the team arrived at the “Athinasi” hotel in Athens. Here they are arranged in rooms, according to the division they had in other cities.
During bedtime, without the knowledge of the team leaders a room change was made. Here Lulëzim Bershemi has deceived the football player Ilir Kepa, with whom he was assigned to the room, telling him that he was ordered by the team leaders to sleep with Arvid Hoxha, while he
(Illyrian), to sleep with Kujtim Shaba. This was done, although the separation from the team leaders was Ilir Kepa and Lulëzim Bërshemi in one room and Kujtim Shaba and Arvid Hoxha in the other room. This overnight shift has not been reported by team leaders.
As it is said, the team leaders stayed awake until 02:45 on 7.11.1987, while the friends of the embassy left the hotel at 02:00. At 05:45 of this date, our driver at the time they were getting off, informed the team leaders that the hotel goalkeeper announced that two players of the team, room 314, handed over the key and left at 03:30 for to walk. They immediately went to the room, where they found sports bags with their personal belongings. Then they notified the embassy and together with them they searched by phone in all areas of the city police, from which the answer was given that “we do not know anything”. They also checked the surrounding region and found nothing.
Finally, by order of the friends of our embassy in Athens, the departure was made. In our customs it turned out that generally the whole group was within the norms. But after the control of the bus by the customs officers, it turned out that some cracks were made, where 3 clocks, 2 lighters and a pair of papers were found, which were not identified which of the team members inserted them.
Under the direction of the District Party Committee, all these events that took place in the “Vllaznia” team on the way to Finland and back were carefully analyzed in all parts of the sport. Such analyzes were made on the football team itself, on the basic organization of the Club Party, on the Physical Education Committee as well as on other sports teams. During the analysis, the betrayal of the homeland of two football players, Arvid Hoxha and Lulëzim Bërshemi, was condemned with deep indignation and hatred.
Foreign performances that have been observed in some members of the football team were also criticized and condemned. Thus, cases of breaking team discipline, robbery, and even the theft of four football players in Helsinki were condemned.
For all these and to improve the situation in the team, the following measures were taken:
For poor educational work and bad management of the team abroad, political leader Bahri Axhemi A.P. (party member) was given remarks by the basic party organization with a note on the registration card, and was dismissed from the position of Chairman of the District Physical Education Committee. He was appointed definitive teacher in the village.
Coach Astrit Hafizi was deprived of the right to lead football teams for two years and was appointed teacher with a final appointment in the Dukagjini Board.
Assistant coach Esat Rrakiqi was appointed definitive teacher in Shllak. To him, even for irregular stay on the way to Malta and back.
The team doctor, Zydi Çoba was appointed with a definitive appointment as a doctor in Pult i Dukagjinit.
The captain of the team, Ferit Rragami was expelled from football for 2 years and was appointed permanent teacher in Pult of Dukagjini.
For the theft that took place in Helsinki, the two footballers of the team, V.L. and SH.K. were permanently expelled from football and sent to prison to work in the Brick Factory.
Footballers Faslli Fakja and Agim Maliqati, who today continue to perform military service, were permanently expelled from football for foreign performances.
These measures became known to all sports teams in the district, which found immediate solidarity.
Immediately with a group of coaches, the team of 22 people was regenerated, where care was taken to include young people with sound educational background and from families with good moral and political attitude.
Drawing lessons from the event that took place by the District Physical Culture Committee and the Club “Vllaznia”, under the leadership of the basic organization of the party are taking the necessary measures and are further strengthening the political-ideological, educational work with athletes, in the fight against performances foreign in sport and beyond, raising higher revolutionary vigilance.
Measures were also taken for the families of the two footballers who betrayed. The father of the traitor Lulëzim Bërshemi, who was a party member and employee of the Military Branch, was expelled from the Party and left the Military Branch. As for his uncle, Ibrahim Bërshemi (Hajdari), who was a party member, it was proposed to expel him from the Plenum of the District Party Committee.
The father of the other traitor, Arvid Hoxha, Isuf Hoxha, left the office of the Executive Committee, where he was an employee in the Control-Audit section, and was sent to the Leather-Shoes factory with a sentence. His uncle, Qemal Hoxha, a party member and instructor in the District Party Committee, was severely reprimanded by the party’s basic organization with a note on his registration card and left the District Party Committee Apparatus to be appointed. to another task at the base.
While the other uncle, Hivzi Hoxha, resigned from the post of neighborhood mayor.
In the basic organization of the party and in the neighborhood, the parents of the football players who stole and those who appear with foreign performances were also discussed and severely criticized for poor educational work.
These measures found very good mass approval, concrete objectives and tasks were set for the further deepening of the political and ideological work and for the patriotic, revolutionary and civic education of our people, as well as for the further formation of the revolutionary vigilance. The Bureau of the District Party Committee also met especially for these problems./Memorie.al