Klubi i Futbollit Tirana (KF Tirana) is an Albanian professional football club based in the country's capital city, Tirana. The men's football club is part of the multi-disciplinary sports club SK Tirana, and is the most successful in Albania, having won 54 recognized major domestic trophies. They are the only football club in Albania with two stars in their crest after winning the 20th championship in 2003, each star corresponds to ten championships. Making them the first and only Albanian club to have achieved such a feat. They play their home games at the Selman Stërmasi Stadium in Tirana and they play in the Kategoria Superiore.

KF Tirana
Full nameKlubi i Futbollit Tirana
Founded15 August 1920; 103 years ago (1920-08-15),
as Sport Klub Tirana[1]
GroundSelman Stërmasi Stadium
OwnersHalili SH.P.K. (66%)
Municipality of Tirana (34%)
PresidentRefik Halili
Head coachErbim Fagu
LeagueAbissnet Superiore
2022–23Kategoria Superiore, 2nd of 10
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The club was founded on 15 August 1920[1] as Sport Klub Tirana (in English: Sport Club Tirana), but then, they name changed to Shoqata e Futbollit Agimi (in English: Agimi Football Association) and they had since participated in all the top tier national championships ever held in Albania. However, the ninth-place finish in the 2016–17 season relegated the club to the Albanian First Division (second-tier) for the first time in their history.

They have competed under the name of SK Tirana between 1927 and 1947, when the communist regime forcibly renamed the club 17 Nëntori Tirana, Puna Tirana and KS 17 Nëntori. In 1991 KF Tirana retook its pre-1947 name and was divided into two branches, the multi disciplinary SK Tirana and the football branch of KF Tirana.

KF Tirana is the most successful Albanian team in European competitions, having progressed from the first rounds on 14 occasions (once directly by draw, without playing) since making their European debut in the 1965–66 European Cup. They reached Round of 16 in European Competitions four times, three such in the European Cup (now Champions League) alone in 1980s. The club also holds the record of being the highest ever ranking Albanian club according to IFFHS, having been ranked 31st in the world in 1987, following good results in their 1986–87 campaign.[3] In addition, KF Tirana is an ECA member.[4]

History edit

1920–1937: Beginnings of Klubi i Futbollit Tirana edit

The first picture of the KF Tirana squad

Tirana was officially founded on 15 August 1920. The first coach was appointed Palok Nika. The first name of the club was Sportklub Tirona which was later changed into Futboll Klub Tirona. The team played their first official match in October at Shallvare against Juventus Shkodër.[5]

Tirana played their first international match against Yugoslav team Crnogorac Cetinje from Montenegro in 1925. On 16 August 1927, which was the seventh anniversary of the formation of the Agimi Sports Association, the club's name changed into Sportklub Tirana, which would be commonly referred to as SK Tirana.[6] On that day the president of the club was Teki Selenica.[7]

in 1930, Tirana took part in the first officially recognised football competition held in Albania, organized by newly founded Albanian Football Association. The team dominated the tournament, reaching the final after winning five matches, drawing four and losing just one, to finish joint top, along with Skënderbeu Korçë, albeit with a slightly better goal difference.[8] Tirana faced in the championship final Skënderbeu Korçë, who refused to play as a sign of protest against the bias of the competition and the Albanian Football Association towards Tirana. The club was named champion after the games were awarded 2–0.[8]

The following season, the club introduced new players such as goalkeeper Vasfi Samimi, Sabit Çoku, Muhamet Agolli and Halim Begeja. The championship format changed as it divided the teams into two groups. Tirana was placed in Group A and managed to finish 1st after collecting five points from three matches. In the final against Group B winners Teuta Durrës, the team drew 1–1 in the first leg at home but managed a 3–0 win in the second one to retain the championship title.

Tirana continued to dominate the Albanian football even in the next season, despite the fact that the championship format was changed once again. In a group where every club would play each other twice and the winner would be decided by who finished top of the league, Tirana had it easy as they finished the championship unbeaten, winning five matches and drawing three, winning the title for the third consecutive year, which further cemented their place in history as the first club to dominate football in Albania. The club lost the title for the first time in history in 1933, finishing in a disappointing third place out of six, behind Bashkimi Shkodran and the winners Skënderbeu Korçë. It turned out to be a transition period as team bounced back firmly in the 1934 Championship, finishing five points ahead of runners-up Skënderbeu Korçë in a seven team format.

In the next years, Tirana managed to win the 1936 and 1937 championship, guided by ethnic-Albanian forward Riza Lushta who was named top goalscorer in both years.[9] This was the last pre-World War II competition held by the Albanian Football Association as there was no championship held in 1938 and World War II broke out in 1939.

1939–1947: War years edit

In 1939, Albania was under Italian invasion; Giovanni Giro, a loyal trustee of Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, was in charge of organising the first football competition under Victor Emmanuel III, which was called Turneja Kombëtare E Footbollit Për Ndeshjet E Trofeut Të Liktorit (National Tour of Football for the Matches of the Lictor Trophy). Tirana participated in the tournament, eliminating 9–0 on aggregate Dragoj Pogradeci in the first round to reach the semi-finals. In the semi-final, the team played Skënderbeu Korçë, beating them 3–0 to reach the final against Vllaznia Shkodër. In the final played at the Shallvare field in the capital on 30 September 1939, Tirana won the trophy by winning 6–5.

A similar tournament was held in the next year by the fascist regime, this time in a group format where teams were divided into two groups based on geography location. Two of Tirana's most important players Kryeziu and Lushta left Albania for Italy to join Bari and Roma respectively. In the first match, Tirana drew 2–2 with Vllaznia Shkodër, and then won 3–0 at home against Elbasani. The rest of the campaign did not prove to be fruitful as Vllaznia finished top of the group ahead of Tirana and reached the championship finals, where they defeated Skënderbeu Korçë 11–1 on aggregate to win their first national championship, to this day unrecognized by the Albanian Federal Association.

The championship was not held in 1941 but returned in the following year, which also had three clubs from Kosovo. These clubs from Kosovo competed in the northern section along with the reigning champions Vllaznia Shkodër and Tirana competed in the new middle section group and the southern clubs competed in their own group. In a bizarre ruling, only players born between 1921 and 1925 were allowed to participate in the competition, meaning that only players between the ages of 17 and 22 were allowed to play. However, this rule was not followed by most clubs and senior players did participate in the competition. Tirana reached the semi-finals after winning 5–1 versus Elbasani and drawing 1–1 against Teuta Durrës. In the semi-final, the team faced Prizreni; the first leg ended in a 2–2 draw while the second one was won by Tirana 2–1. The team thus reached the final once again where they faced Vllaznia Shkodër on 29 June. The regular time ended in a 1–1 draw, leading the Italian referee Michele Carone then asked both sides to play extra time of two 15-minute halves, but Vllaznia declined. Two days after the final had been played the match was awarded 2–0 to Tirana along with the title.[10]

The club won two out of the three National Championships that were held during World War II, but in March 2013, Albanian Football Association made a decision by refusing to recognize them, stating that they were not legitimate, since they weren't organized by the AFA, but by the fascist regime.[11]

1944–1957: Postwar period edit

Myslym Alla, coached Tirana from 1956 to 1972.

Following the end of World War II, footballing activities resumed as they had done before the war under the guidance of the Albanian Football Association. In the championship of 1945, Tirana was placed in Group B. The team topped the group easily, collecting 16 points from 10 matches, thus reaching the final where they faced Vllaznia Shkodër once again. They lost both matches 2–1, thus missing the opportunity to win another championship.

Under communist regime led by dictator Enver Hoxha, Tiran would quickly become a victim as in early March 1946 the ruling communist Politburo had instructed the club to change its name to 17 Nëntori in honour of the Liberation of Tirana which took place on 17 November 1944. In the following decade, the club was subject to appalling treatment by the regime, and this was highlighted by the creation of a privilege system for the newly created communist backed teams Partizani Tirana and Dinamo Tirana.

The following decade would unroll in the same suffocating atmosphere, becoming even heavier after the foundation of two system-privileged teams that would follow the experiences of their sisters in the former USSR, former Yugoslavia, and the other eastern European countries: Partizani, the Defense Ministry team and Dinamo, the Internal Affairs Ministry team. Dozens of Tirana's talented players were "convinced", against their will, to play for either Partizani or Dinamo.[12] As a result, "17 Nentori" struggled to stay at the top during the years 1947–57, however the team managed to gain some of the lost ground during the second part of the 1950s after replacing in part some of the first choice players of its line up.

1958–1990: Decline and revival edit

From 1958 to 1964 Tirana kept on producing some good football and finishing the championship almost always at the third spot. These years were a prelude to what was about to happen later: Tirana reexperienced its pre-war glory spell under the services of the unforgettable coach Myslym Alla. At the end of the 28th national championship Tirana became champions of Albania more than twenty years after their last title.

The team repeated the success the year after, but this was an obvious challenge to Partizani's generals and Dinamo's secret service bosses.

1967 title unjustly denied edit

It was 24 June 1967. Tirana and Partizani played their derby of the 19th round of 1966–67 Albanian First League. The match was not finished due to a fight breaking out with many Tirana and Partizani players throwing punches on the field.[13][14] It was not a huge surprise to see the paper headlines the next morning: "Due to direct decision of the AFA, Tirana and Partizani forfeit the match 0:3, are deducted 3 points each and will thereafter lose by default remaining matches!" [13][14] By forfeiting that match and losing the subsequent 3 remaining matches, Dinamo would automatically gain enough points to overtake Tirana and win the title.

Defiance edit

After this, Tirana won the championship two years in a row in style, losing only two matches in 1968 and only one during the 1969–70 season.[15]

During the seventies, Tirana struggled hard to stay at the top, the best result being the second place and the worst the thirteenth. Yet the club won the national cup twice. The generation of older players came to the end of their careers and this could only mark the end of a highly successful era. However the unsuccessful spell would not last long this time. Tirana won the championship at the end of the 1981–82 season, and they went on to win the title three other times during the eighties, in 1984–85, 1987–88 and 1988–89 and the Albanian Cup in 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1985–86. The club was also successful in European club competitions, reaching there the round of 16 four times in the 1980s, alone in the European Cup three times. Many of the team's players made up the core of the Albania national football team, such as Agustin Kola, Arben Minga, Shkëlqim Muça and Mirel Josa.[16][17][18]

1991–2006: Return to success edit

In August 1991, less than a year following the fall of communism in Albania, Tirana regained its old name, and likewise the whole Albanian society, went through a period of profound changes. Almost all the best Albanian players left the country and went abroad looking for a richer team who could hire them. But it seems that the club simply could not stand being too long from the leading spots. The team returned to the winning ways by winning the Albanian Cup in the 1993–94 season, defeating 1–0 on aggregate Teuta Durrës.[19] Shortly after, in January 1995, the team won also their first Albanian Supercup trophy, defeating 1–0 Teuta Durrës at Qemal Stafa Stadium. A couple of months later, they clinched their 15th championship by finishing 12 points ahead of the runner-up Teuta Durrës.[20]

This championship was followed by another one in the 1995–96 season, as Tirana won it just one point ahead of Teuta Durrës once again.[21] The team also clinched the cup in that season, completing the domestic double for the second time in history. Another domestic double followed in 1998–99 season. In the following years, Tirana continued to dominate the Albanian football, winning 10 out of the last 18 Albania's championships.[22] The team also dominated in the domestic cups, adding to their trophy cabinet three Albanian Cups and five other Albanian Supercups.

2011–2018: Change in ownership, decline and relegation edit

Elvis Sina, most-capped player in the history of Tirana with more than 500 appearances in all competitions

Following a successful 2006–07 campaign which saw the club win the Albanian Superliga comfortably,[23] the team begun to struggle for results. They began the season by getting eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by NK Domžale. Despite winning the Albanian Supercup versus Besa Kavajë, Tirana managed only a 6th-place finish their worst finish since 1993. In cup, the team lost the final to Vllaznia Shkodër.

In the following season, Tirana bounced back; inspired by striker Migen Memelli,[24] who went on to score 30 goals, Tirana managed to win the championship for the 24th time in history.[25] In cup they reached another final, only to be defeated again, this time by Flamurtari Vlorë.[26] In the next years, Tirana experiences mixed fortunes, being unable to win the championship but remaining on top in domestic cups, winning the Albanian Cup in 2010–11 and 2011–12, and three other Albanian Supercups in 2009, 2011 and 2012. There was also major controversies off the field between club's chief and president in the 2010–11 season, which led to a delay in paying the players' wages and even some players not receiving their wages.

On 12 October 2011, Municipality of Tirana city council voted through a unanimous decision to change the status of the club from a municipality owned to a shareholder own one, under the name KF Tirana Sh.A, with the municipality of Tirana initially holding a 100% stake in the club but with the possibility of any future private sponsors and donors to own stocks in the club.[27]

Starting from 2013, Tirana entered in a period of disappointments. In the 2013–14 season, the team was seriously in risk of getting relegated for the first time in history. By the end of December 2013 the team was ranked in the last position with only 10 points from 13 matches, 7 points away from the safe zone. However, with Gugash Magani as manager and a strong transfer market, the team bounced back and eventually finished in 6th position, escaping the relegation only in the penultimate match.[28] On 26 June 2014, the Tirana city council approved a proposal to give private donors a 66% stake in the club's assets for the next 18 years, which at the time fell in the hands of Refik Halili and Lulzim Morina, which enabled such donors to invest in players, facilities and youth teams.[29]

Selman Stërmasi Stadium was renovated between 2014 and 2015.

Tirana begun the 2014–15 season with high expectations, challenging for the title in the first part of the season.[30] In the second part, however, the team declined and ultimately finished in 5th position. In cup, Tirana was controversially eliminated from Laçi in the semi-final 1–0 on aggregate. Laçi eventually won the final against Kukësi,[31] leaving Tirana without Europa League football once again. The club was relegated during the 2016–17 season.[32] From title contender halfway through the season, Tirana fell continuously to dramatically succumb to relegation for the first time in their history. Ilir Daja was sacked on 1 November following a goalless draw against Vllaznia Shkodër,[33] and was replaced by the returned Mirel Josa.[34] The club also broke the relationship with the fans after allowing with their lifetime rivals Partizani Tirana to play at Selman Stërmasi Stadium; they opposed such an agreement and subsequently abandoned the matches for the entire season as a result.[35] Tirana then endured a 15 winless match streak before winning 2–0 against Korabi Peshkopi.[36] Their relegation was officially confirmed on 27 May following a goalless draw versus fellow relegation strugglers Vllaznia Shkodër.[32] In cup, Tirana did much better, winning their 16th trophy on 31 May after defeating 3–1 Skënderbeu Korçë at Elbasan Arena.[37] This meant the return of Tirana in European competitions after five years.

Tirana retained most of their players ahead of the new season.[38] The club appointed former Brazil international Zé Maria as the new manager.[39] The team eliminated from the UEFA Europa League by Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv[40] In September 2017, Tirana won another trophy, their 11th Albanian Supercup after winning 1–0 against Kukësi.[41] Winning two major domestic trophies and also participating in Europe, Tirana set an astonishing record by becoming the first and only Albanian First Division side to achieve this feat.[41] In the league Tirana dominated with hammering results in either home or away matches.[42][43] Club's goal of a quick promotion in Superliga was reached with three spare rounds to play.[44] Tirana won their first ever Albanian First Division title on 16 May by winning 2–0 against the Group A winners Kastrioti Krujë.[45]

2019–present: 100th anniversary and return to top-flight as a powerhouse edit

Tirana won the 25th championship in the 2019–20 season which was also the club's 100th anniversary.[46] It was the first title after 11 years.[47] During the season the team recorded two wins against Partizani, ending the negative record of 18 winless matches against them; the 5–1 win in February 2020 was the biggest since 2005.[48][49] Ndubuisi Egbo took charge of the team starting in the 13th matchday; he was highly praised for his work and also become the first African coach to win a league title in Europe.[50][51] In cup, the team managed to reach the final but was defeated 2–0 by Teuta.[52]

In the summer of 2020, Tirana reached the play-off of UEFA Europa League, becoming the second Albanian club to achieve this feat after Skënderbeu.[53] They were eliminated by Switzerland's BSC Young Boys.[54] During the domestic season, Tirana failed to defend the title and finished a disappointing 5th place. Coach Egbo was fired and replaced by Orges Shehi halfway through the season.[55] In the next campaign, Tirana dominated the championship and won it for the 26th time in history.[56] Aided by the attacking duo Taulant Seferi and Redon Xhixha,[57] and players such as Ennur Totre,[58] Vesel Limaj,[59] Visar Bekaj,[60] and Ardit Toli, Tirana secured the title with three rounds to spare.[56]

Grounds edit

Shallvare (1920–46) edit

The club's first home ground was the Shallvare, located in the centre of Tirana where today is the existing Shallvare block, acquired by the club prior to their formation in 1920. The also field served as an amusement centre for the youth of Tirana to enjoy, and it was a popular gathering place where various games were played during religious holidays. Before its use as a football ground the site was use by the Ottoman garrison as a playground, and in 1916 it served as a runway for the Austrian-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops. The club played their first game at the Shallvare in 1920 against a team made up of the occupying Austrian-Hungarians. In 1925 there were changing rooms built at the ground, and in the early 1930s there was an athletics track built around the football pitch. The administrator of the ground was the football referee, Besim Hamdiu (Qorri), who only had one assistant in the maintenance of the ground. The ground did not have a main stand or seating area for spectators, but rather a two storied building that was constructed in 1923 by a member of parliament Masar Këlliçi . The building stood 50 metres away from the football pitch and was located in line with the middle of the pitch, with its balcony facing the field and the Dajt mountains. The ground was also used for other sporting events as well as military parades, one of which the president and later king Ahmet Zogu attended in 1927. The ground was destroyed in 1951 and Soviet–style apartment blocks were built onto of it instead.[61][62]

Qemal Stafa Stadium (1946–2015) edit

The home ground of KF Tirana is Selman Stërmasi Stadium, which is shared with city rivals Dinamo Tirana and Partizani Tirana. However, most derby and significant matches are played at the national team's Qemal Stafa Stadium; the stadium is also used if the Selman Stërmasi Stadium is unavailable as it is used by three different teams. The club has expressed its desire to rebuild the current Selman Stërmasi Stadium into a modern complex with around 15,000 to 20,000 seats. They want it to be Albania's first modern post-Communism stadium without an athletic track around the field, which they hope will provide more atmosphere and attract more fans. However, it has not yet been decided when this will be built but it is rumoured to be the club's 100th anniversary present in 2020.[63]

Selman Stërmasi Stadium (1956–present) edit

Selman Stërmasi Stadium in its inaugural match

KF Tirana plays most of its official and friendly games at the Selman Stërmasi Stadium in Tirana. The Selman Stërmasi Stadium was built in 1956 and was previously named the 'Dinamo' Stadium until 1991 when it was permanently given its new name. The Football Association of Albania and the club decided to name the stadium post mortem after the eminent KF Tirana player, coach and president, Selman Stërmasi.

The stadium has a capacity of 12,500 (8,400 seated). In December 2014, another phase of reconstruction was started, involving a new pitch, central main covered stand, central fans stand including two extra rows extension, broken or missing seats replacements/repairs, interior facilities, general lineaments and a shopping center just under central seated. The internal facilities include general repairs, a press conference room, journalists' corner and modern showers. The side fans stands will temporary be shut and covered by advertising boards. It is still unclear when will stadium scoreboard and clock be fitted.[64]

The main parking area is located at the front of the stadium, which leads to the entrance. The whole external part of the stadium is surrounded by a 2.7 M (9 ft) rail fence.[65]

Skënder Halili Complex edit

The club's training ground is called the Skënder Halili Complex and it is located off Rruga e Kavajës, near the Birra Tirana factory. The training complex was posthumously named after Skënder Halili, who was one of the club's most notable associates, both during his playing career and after. The complex features a full sized natural grass football pitch, as well as a smaller astro turf fan along with dressing rooms used by senior team as well as some of the youth teams. In December 2014 work began on both the Skënder Halili Complex and the Selman Stërmasi Stadium in order to fully renovate these grounds to be used by the club, and at the training ground the training facilities were all improved which included the dressing rooms and even the single stand that holds a small number of spectators for those wishing to attend training sessions and even occasional friendlies that are played at the ground.[66]

Supporters edit

Tirona Fanatics
Established8 January 2006
TypeSupporters' group
ClubKF Tirana
HeadquartersTirana, Albania
AffiliationsTifozat Kuq e Zi

Tirana is considered to be one of the most supported football clubs in Albania, and its supporters also formed the first Ultras group in the country in 1986 called Ultras Tirona. The group was forced to operate illegally as the communist regime did not allow such organised groups to function. However, despite this, its supporters used games as an outlet to show their dissent against the regime in place and following the fall of communism in Albania they became more organised and attracted more supporters in the late 90s and early 2000s. During the mid-2000s, younger supporters began to emerge on the scene and felt that the older Ultras Tirona did not entirely represent them, which led to the younger supporters forming a new Ultras group called the Tirona Fanatics on 8 January 2006.[67][68][69][70] Tirona Fanatics are widely regarded as a right wing tifo-group, whereas Ultras Guerrils are mostly associated with the left due to their history. The group quickly rose in membership and became the most organised supporters group in Albania, following Tirana home and away, including European games. On 20 May 2015 the majority of the founding members of Tirona Fanatics decided to hand over the management of the group to younger supporters.[71] The group has partnerships with Macedonian group Shvercerat of FK Shkupi

Rivalries edit

Tirana have three main rivals. Vllaznia Shkodër, the oldest derby in the country, with the matches between them called the All-time Albanian derby. The other rivalries are the Tirana derbies with Dinamo Tirana and Partizani Tirana. However, since 2010s, they have developed a fierce rivalry with Skënderbeu Korçë since the latter side's rise to prominence.

Players edit

Current squad edit

As of 1 February 2024

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ALB Ilion Lika
3 DF   ALB Gledi Mici
4 DF   ALB Bruno Lulaj
5 DF   MKD Filip Najdovski
7 FW   ALB Kristal Abazaj (vice-captain)
8 MF   ALB Fjoart Jonuzi
10 MF   ALB Regi Lushkja
11 MF   ALB Liridon Latifi
12 GK   ALB Leon Kozi
14 FW   ALB Rimal Haxhiu
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 DF   ALB Florjan Përgjoni
20 MF   ALB Jordi Jaku
22 MF   ALB Ardit Deliu
23 GK   ALB Gentian Selmani
28 DF   ALB Erion Hoxhallari (captain)
30 FW   ALB Dijar Nikqi
33 MF   ALB Ermal Meta
91 GK   KOS Mustafë Abdullahu
98 FW   BRA Patrick

Reserve squad edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
14 DF   ALB Rigers Sulaj
55 MF   ALB Hajrulla Tola
No. Pos. Nation Player
77 FW   ALB Dion Ahmetaj
80 FW   ALB Melsi Cereni

Out on loan edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ALB Tomas Kiri (at Kastrioti until 30 June 2024)
MF   ALB Alen Luta (at Tomori until 30 June 2024)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   ALB Serxhio Tafa (at Vora until 30 June 2024)

Retired numbers edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
12 12   ALB Tirona Fanatics (since the start of 2014–15 season)[a]

Other clubs edit

Tirana B edit

Klubi i Futbollit Tirana B is an Albanian football club based in Tiranë. It was founded in 1932, but was dissolved before it was refounded again on 22 January 2013.[72]

Tirana U-21 edit

KF Tirana U-21 is an Albanian football club based in Tiranë. It was founded in 2019.

Reserves and academy edit

The KF Tirana Reserves and Academy (Albanian: Klubi i Futbollit Tirana Rezervat dhe Akademia) are the reserve team of KF Tirana, They play in the North section of the Albanian U-19 Superliga and Albanian U-17 Superliga.

Honours edit

Tirana are the most successful and decorated club in Albania, having won 26 league titles, a national record.[73] The club's first trophy was also the first Albanian National Championship, held in 1930, which was also the first official football competition in the country.[8] The club also holds the record for the most Albanian Cups (16) and Albanian Supercups (12). The club's most recent trophy was the 2022 Albanian Supercup won on 7 December 2022.[74]

Type Competition Titles Seasons
Domestic (54) Kategoria Superiore 26** 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1939*, 1942*, 1964–65, 1965–66,  , 1967***, 1968, 1969–70, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97,   1998–99, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2019–20, 2021–22
Kategoria e Parë 1 2017–18
Kupa e Shqipërisë 16 1938–39, 1962–63, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99,  , 2000–01, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2016–17
Superkupa e Shqipërisë 12 1994, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012,  , 2017, 2022
Double 3 1939, 1995–96, 1998–99
Europe Balkans Cup RU 1983
Minor Taçi Oil Cup 1 2008
  •   Record
    • Tirana have won two more championships played during seasons 1939 and 1942. However, AFA have not yet officially recognized them.
      • The championship of 1967 has not been recognized by UEFA due to huge irregularities which caused the European governing association to disallow the "fake" champions participating in European Cup. Thus, Tirana claims to be champions of Albania 29 times.

Records and statistics edit

Domestic edit

  • Biggest ever home league victory:

Tirana 11-3 Partizani (1954) Tirana 11–0 Flamurtari Vlorë (5 July 1936)[75]
Tirana 11–0 Besëlidhja Lezhë (6 June 1937)
Tirana 11–0 Erzeni (1960)

  • Biggest ever home league defeat: Tirana 0–6 Vllaznia Shkodër (1947)
    Tirana 0-6 Skënderbeu Korçë (1947)
  • Biggest ever away league victory: Elbasani 2–9 Tirana (12 June 1932)
    Pogradeci 1–8 Tirana (1953)
  • Biggest ever away league defeat: Partizani Tirana 8-0 Tirana (1947)
  • Most league appearances:   Elvis Sina (392)
  • Most league goals:   Indrit Fortuzi (152)
  • Most points in a season: 84 (2004–05)
  • Fewest points in a season: 7 (1940)
  • Most wins in a season: 26 (2004–05)
  • Fewest wins in a season: 3 (1931, 1933, 1940, 1942)
  • Most ties in a season: 15 (1974–75), (2016–17)
  • Fewest ties in a season: 0 (1939, 1946)
  • Most losses in a season: 13 (1972–73, 1976–77, 1991–92, 2016–17, 2018–19)
  • Fewest losses in a season: 0 (1932, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1942)
  • Best Goal Differential: +66 (1936)
  • Worst Goal Differential: -5 (1972–73)

Europe edit

Players edit

Most appearances

Appearances in competitive matches Below is the list with top ten players with most appearances in all competitions for KF Tirana.

Elvis Sina is one of the highest match players for the club.
Rank Player Years Match Goals
1   Elvis Sina 1996–2006
392 8
2   Arben Minga 1975–1991
387 136
3   Blendi Nallbani 1990–1991
327 1
4   Nevil Dede 1994–2004
299 30
5   Agustin Kola 1980–1991
298 133
6   Erando Karabeci 2009–2020 273 10
7   Erjon Hoxhallari 2011–2014
258 11
8   Mirel Josa 1980–1991 253 40
9   Rezart Dabulla 1998–2006
245 9
10   Ervin Bulku 1998–2006
235 15
Most goals
Rank Player Years Goals Match
1   Indrit Fortuzi 1993–1998
152 210
2   Arben Minga 1971–1990
136 387
3   Agustin Kola 1980–1991
133 298
4   Shkelqim Muca 1978–1988 88 192
5   Petrit Dibra 1970–1980 70 187
6   Devi Muka 1998–1999
61 201
7   Skënder Hyka 1963–1974 60 157
8   Mahir Halili 2000–2005 46 133
9   Pavllo Bukoviku 1957–1958
45 147
10   Hamdi Salihi 2005–2007 42 52
Kategoria Superiore Golden Boot

List of Kategoria Superiore top scorers (Kategoria Superiore top scorers).

Season Player Goals Matches
1930   Rexhep Maçi
  Emil Hajnali
3 3
1932   Haki Korça 4 3
1934   Mark Gurashi 12 5
1936     Riza Lushta 11 5
1937     Riza Lushta 25 5
1978–79   Petrit Dibra 14 26
1984–85   Arben Minga 13 17
1987–88   Agustin Kola 18 33
1988–89   Agustin Kola 19 32
2000–01   Indrit Fortuzi 31 25
2001–02   Indrit Fortuzi 24 24
2002–03   Mahir Halili 20 22
2005–06   Hamdi Salihi 29 35
2006–07   Vioresin Sinani 23 29
2008–09   Migen Memelli 22 29
2022–23   Florent Hasani 16 35
Most championships won

(4 times or more)

# Champion Times Seasons
1 Nevil Dede 8 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007
Blendi Nallbani 8 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009
3 Krenar Alimehmeti 7 1985, 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Eldorado Merkoçi 7 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005
5 Adem Karapici 6 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937
Arben Minga 6 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996
Agustin Kola 6 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1997
Ardian Mema 6 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Sokol Bulku 6 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004
Elvis Sina 6 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Devi Muka 6 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
Rezart Dabulla 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Ervin Bulku 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
Isli Hidi 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
15 Mark Gurashi 5 1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937
Rudolf Gurashi 5 1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937
Emil Hajnali 5 1930, 1931, 1932, 1936, 1937
Florian Riza 5 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997, 2000
Indrit Fortuzi 5 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004
Alpin Gallo 5 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Alban Tafaj 5 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Saimir Patushi 5 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
23 Selman Stërmasi 4 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934
Hysen Kusi 4 1930, 1931, 1932, 1936
Pavllo Bukoviku 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Luigj Bytyçi 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Fatmir Frashëri 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Skënder Hyka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Bahri Ishka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Ali Mema 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Osman Mema 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Niko Xhaçka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Shkëlqim Muça 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Mirel Josa 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Leonard Liti 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Bedri Omuri 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Bujar Sharra 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Anesti Stoja 4 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995
Ansi Agolli 4 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Gentjan Hajdari 4 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

KF Tirana statistics in Kategoria Superiore edit

Since the Kategoria Superiore began in 1930, KF Tirana have played 2096 Superliga matches, scored 3438 goals and conceded 1873. The club has collected so far 3132 points, won 1079 games, drawn 543 and lost 474. The club's goal difference is +1565 and the winning difference is +605.

Historical Goals Wins Draws Losses +/-Goals +/- Wins Points Matches
TOTAL 3438–1873 1079 543 474 +1565 +605 3132 2096

Data correct up to the end of the 2022–23 season.

Recent seasons edit

Season Division Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Supercup Europe Top Scorer
1993–94 Kampionati Shqiptar 2nd 26 13 6 7 36 16 33 W W   Indrit Fortuzi 11
1994–95 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 30 19 6 5 57 27 44 RU UCW 1QR   Indrit Fortuzi 18
1995–96 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 34 19 10 5 52 22 55 W UCup 1QR   Saimir Malko 9
1996–97 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 22 14 4 4 40 9 46 SR UCup 1QR   Alban Bushi 9
1997–98 Kampionati Shqiptar 2nd 34 19 8 7 54 19 65 QF   Indrit Fortuzi 15
1998–99 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 30 18 7 5 48 20 61 W UCL 1QR   Indrit Fortuzi 9
1999–00 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 26 16 4 6 40 14 52 QF W UCL 1QR   Anesti Vito 11
2000–01 Kampionati Shqiptar 2nd 26 16 6 4 56 13 54 W UCL 1QR   Indrit Fortuzi 38
2001–02 Kampionati Shqiptar 2nd 26 19 5 2 52 15 62 W W UCup 1QR   Indrit Fortuzi 31
2002–03 Kampionati Shqiptar 1st 26 19 3 4 57 18 60 SF W UCup 1QR   Mahir Halili 20
2003–04 Kategoria Superiore 1st 36 24 8 4 90 36 80 SF RU UCL 2QR   Indrit Fortuzi 20
2004–05 Kategoria Superiore 1st 36 26 6 4 82 32 84 RU W UCL 2QR   Altin Rraklli 20
2005–06 Kategoria Superiore 2nd 36 17 11 8 54 33 62 W W UCL 2QR   Hamdi Salihi 29
2006–07 Kategoria Superiore 1st 33 22 6 5 64 33 72 QF W UCup 2QR   Vioresin Sinani 23
2007–08 Kategoria Superiore 6th 33 14 7 12 46 36 49 RU UCL 1QR   Klodian Duro 16
2008–09 Kategoria Superiore 1st 33 19 11 3 58 27 68 RU W   Migen Memelli 23
2009–10 Kategoria Superiore 3rd 33 15 7 11 38 32 52 THR UCL 2QR   Gjergji Muzaka 10
2010–11 Kategoria Superiore 5th 33 11 11 11 42 31 44 W W UEL 2QR   Pero Pejić 16
2011–12 Kategoria Superiore 3rd 26 16 5 5 33 21 53 W W UEL 2QR   Bekim Balaj 13
2012–13 Kategoria Superiore 5th 26 12 7 7 30 23 43 SR UEL 2QR   Gilman Lika 9
2013–14 Kategoria Superiore 6th 33 14 8 11 36 31 50 SR   Mario Morina 5
  Gilberto Fortunato 5
2014–15 Kategoria Superiore 4th 36 21 8 7 47 27 71 SF   Elis Bakaj 13
2015–16 Kategoria Superiore 5th 36 13 14 9 37 25 53 QF   Elis Bakaj 14
2016–17 Kategoria Superiore ↓9th 36 8 15 13 29 32 39 W   Afrim Taku 9
2017–18 Kategoria e Parë ↑1st 26 21 4 1 66 13 64 QF W UEL 1QR   Bedri Greca 14
2018–19 Kategoria Superiore 7th 36 12 11 13 44 35 47 RU   Edon Hasani 13
2019–20 Kategoria Superiore 1st 36 21 7 8 67 35 70 RU   Michael Ngoo 14
2020–21 Kategoria Superiore 5th 36 15 13 8 41 26 58 SR RU UCL
  Idriz Batha 9
2021–22 Abissnet Superiore 1st 36 22 7 7 64 27 73 SR   Taulant Seferi 19
2022–23 Abissnet Superiore 2nd 36 20 7 9 56 33 67 RU W UCL
  Florent Hasani 16
2023–24 Abissnet Superiore 5th 32 12 10 10 52 46 46 UCO 2QR

Divisional movements edit

Series Years Last Promotions Relegations
Kategoria Superiore 84 2023–24 2018–19   1 (2016–17)
Kategoria e Parë 1 2017–18   1 (2017–18)   0 (–)

KF Tirana in Europe edit

KF Tirana (September 1970)

In addition to being the leader team in all domestic competitions, KF Tirana have also given the best performances in Europe among Albanian squads winning 14 ties in Europe (including once directly by draw, without playing).

They reached Round of 16 in European Competitions four times, of which three times in the European Cup (now Champions League) alone in 1980s, making it the Albanian team to have progressed farthest in any European competition.

White and blues hold the all-time record for the highest IFFHS ranking of an Albanian football club, being ranked as high as 31st in the world in 1987, as result of good results preceded 1986–87.[76][3]

In their European path, Tirana have played against "big guns" such as: Ajax, Bayern Munich, etc. Drawn against teams such as Dinamo București, Ferencváros, CSKA Sofia, Young Boys, Utrecht, Dinamo Zagreb, IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF, Standard Liège,Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C., Red Star Belgrade, Besiktas JK etc.

In one of the few team's good performances (the 2004–05 season) after having passed FC Gomel of Belarus in the first round 2:1 on aggregate, KF Tirana played against Ferencváros in the second round. Having lost the first leg 3–2 at home, Tirana led 1–0 in Budapest; however, they were unable to score the one extra goal they needed, having missed a penalty and hit the woodwork twice, and were eliminated on away goals, the tie finishing 3–3 on aggregate.

Another good performance was reaching the play-off stage in Europa League 2020-21. Following a 2-0 away victory against Dinamo Tbilisi in the first round of Champions League, they were eliminated by Red Star in the following round, losing 0–1 in Air Albania Stadium and moving to Europa League third round (lucky draw). Which saw Tirana play in play-off against BSC Young Boys in Bern, where they were defeated 3–0 and failed to qualify for the group stage.

European performance table edit

Season Competition Round Country Opposition Home Away Aggregate
1964–66 Balkans Cup Group B   Cherno More Varna 0–0 0–1
  Beşiktaş 2–0 1–1
  Rapid București 1–2 1–3  
1965–66 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Kilmarnock 0–0 0–1 0–1  
1966–67 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Vålerenga (w/o) (w/o) (w/o)  
1969–70 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Standard Liège 1–1 0–3 1–4  
1970–71 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Ajax 2–2 0–2 2–4  
1975 Balkans Cup Group B   Panionios 6–0 1–2
  Radnički Niš 0–0 0–3  
1981-83 Balkans Cup Group B   Larissa 3–0 1–3
  Sloboda Tuzla 3–0 3–0  
Final   Beroe Stara Zagora 0–1 0–3 0–4  
1982–83 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Linfield 1–0 1–2 2–2  
2R   Dynamo Kyiv (w/o) (w/o) (w/o)  
1983–84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Hammarby IF 2–1 0–3 2–4  
1986–87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Dinamo București 1–0 2–1 3–1  
2R   Malmö FF 0–3 0–0 0–3  
1988–89 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Ħamrun Spartans 2–0 1–2 3–2  
2R   IFK Göteborg 0–3 0–1 0–4  
1989–90 European Champion Clubs' Cup 1R   Sliema Wanderers 5–0 0–1 5–1  
2R   Bayern Munich 0–3 1–3 1–6  
1990–91 Balkans Cup QF   Budućnost Titograd 0–0 1–2 1–2  
1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR   Bobruisk 3–0 1–4 4–3  
1R   Brøndby IF 0–1 0–3 0–4  
1995–96 UEFA Cup QR   Hapoel Be'er Sheva 0–1 0–2 0–3  
1996–97 UEFA Cup 1QR   Croatia Zagreb 2–6 0–4 2–10  
1998–99 UEFA Cup 1QR   Inter Bratislava 0–2 0–2 0–4  
1999–00 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja 1–2 0–1 1–3  
2000–01 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Zimbru Chisinau 2–3 2–3 4–6  
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR   Apollon Limassol 3–2 1–3 4–5  
2002–03 UEFA Cup QR   Național București 0–1 2–2 2–3  
2003–04 UEFA Champions League 1Q   Dinamo Tbilisi 3–0 0–3 3–3 (4–2 p)  
2QR   Grazer AK 1–5 1–2 2–7  
2004–05 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Gomel 0–1 2–0 2–2  
2QR   Ferencváros 2–3 1–0 3–3  
2005–06 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Gorica 3–0 0–2 3–2  
2QR   CSKA Sofia 0–2 0–2 0–4  
2006–07 UEFA Cup 1QR   Varteks 2–0 1–1 3–1  
2QR   Kayserispor 0–2 1–3 1–5  
2007–08 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Domžale 1–2 0–1 1–3  
2009–10 UEFA Champions League 2QR   Stabæk 1–1 0–4 1–5  
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Zalaegerszeg 0–0 1−0 (a.e.t.) 1–0 (a.e.t.)  
2QR   Utrecht 1–1 0–4 1–5  
2011–12 UEFA Europa League 2QR   Spartak Trnava 0–0 1–3 1–3  
2012–13 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Grevenmacher 2−0 0–0 2–0  
2QR   Aalesund 1–1 0–5 1–6  
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Maccabi Tel Aviv 0–3 0–2 0–5  
2020–21 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Dinamo Tbilisi 2−0 2–0  
2QR   Red Star Belgrade 0−1 0–1  
UEFA Europa League 3QR BYE  
PO   Young Boys 0–3 0–3  
2022–23 UEFA Champions League 1QR   F91 Dudelange 1−2 0–1 1–3  
UEFA Europa Conference League 2QR   HŠK Zrinjski Mostar 0–1 2–3 2–4  
2023–24 UEFA Europa Conference League 1QR   Dinamo Batumi 1–1 2–1 3–2  
2QR   Beşiktaş 0–2 1–3 1–5  

World and European rankings edit

European campaigns – Finals achievements edit

Season Achievement Notes
UEFA Champions League
1982-83 Round of 16 eliminated by   Dynamo Kyiv both matches were not played
1988–89 Round of 16 eliminated by   Göteborg 0-3 in Tirana and 1-0 in Göteborg
1989-90 Round of 16 eliminated by   Bayern Munich 3-1 in Munich and 0-3 in Tirana
Season Achievement Notes
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1986-87 Round of 16 eliminated by   Malmö 0-3 in Tirana and 1-0 in Malmö
1994-95 Round of 32 eliminated by   Brøndby 3-0 in Brøndby and 0-1 in Tirana
Season Achievement Notes
Balkans Cup
1981-83 Runners Up eliminated by   Beroe Stara Zagora 0-3 in Stara Zagora and 1-3 in Tirana

Player records edit

  • Most appearances in UEFA club competitions: 31 appearances:
  • Top scorer in UEFA club competitions: 10 goals – Indrit Fortuzi

Historical list of coaches edit

Managerial record edit

(i) = interim

Personnel edit

Position Name
Coach   Erbim Fagu
Assistant manager   Endri Vrapi
  Vangjel Mile
Goalkeeping coach   Alfred Osmani
Team doctor   Arzen Voci
  Marvi Kastrati
  Aldo Vangjeli
Fiziotherapist   Tedi Maqellari
Store man   Hajdar Karaj
U–21 Coach   Gentian Muca
U–19 Coach   Vangjel Mile
  Ylli Shameti (Assistent)
U–17 Coach   Matias Qirinxhi
  Besmir Jakupi (Assistent)

Management edit

Position Name
President   Refik Halili
Vice–President   Grend Halili
Shareholder   HALILI SH.P.K (66%)
Shareholder   Tirana Municipal Council (34%)
Sport director vacant
Academy director   Grend Halili
Team manager   Ermal Spahiu
Club Representative   Eranjo Isaj
Disagne Model   Goldi Halili
Photographer   Izmir Doda

Kit suppliers edit


Period Kit provider Shirt sponsor
1988–1991 Umbro Ariston
1993–1997 Parmalat
1998–1999 Adidas Kent
1999–2000 Hawaii
2000–2001 Joma
2001–2002 Volkswagen
2002–2004 Jako
2004–2006 Puma
2006–2008 Adidas
2008–2009 Puma
2009–2010 Lotto Vila Goldi
2010–2011 Adidas none
2011–2012 Macron BPP Group
2012–2013 Errea none
2013–2015 Legea
2015–2016 Birra Tirana
2016–2019 Macron none
2019–2022 Uhlsport
Caffè Vergnano
Vila Goldi
Air Albania
2022–2023 Kohl's Lori Caffe
2023– none

KF Tirana Sponsorship edit

Sponsor Type Name
Main Sponsors Halili Constructions, Municipality of Tirana
Secondary Sponsors Vila Goldi, Spitali Salus, Lajthiza Water, Tirana Dekor, Lori Caffe, Skela Syla
Official clothing provider Kohl's

Presidential history edit

Tirana have had numerous presidents over the course of their history, some of which have been the owners of the club, others have been administrators and honorary presidents such as Bamir Topi and Fatmir Frashëri. The president has historically taken sole charge of the club, except for the period between 2007 and 2008, when was the presidency was formally vacant and numerous donors managed the club. The club have had a total of 13 president and 15 presidencies since 1920, with only Bamir Topi and Refik Halili having held the position on two occasions. The longest serving president is Selman Stërmasi who took charge of the club for 24 years between 1936 and 1960, whilst the shortest presidency belongs to Fatmir Frashëri, who took charge for one year between 2004 and 2005. Here is a complete list of club president from when Bahri Toptani took over at the club in 1920, until the present day.[80][81]

Name Years
  Bahri Toptani 1920–1933
 Stefan Shundi 1933–1936
  Selman Stërmasi 1936–1960
  Lame Konomi 1960–1970
  Nuri Bylyku 1970–1983
  Çlirimi Hysi 1983–1985
  Zija Shaba 1985–1993
  Metush Seferi 1993–1998
  Lutfi Nuri 1998–1999
  Metwally El Sayed 1999–2004
  Refik Halili
  Agron Papuli
  Shefikat Ngjela
  Avni Nuri
  Refik Halili 2008–2011
  Lulzim Basha 2011–2012
  Ndriçim Babasi 2012–2013
  Refik Halili
  Julian Morina
  Refik Halili 2014–

See also edit

Notes and references edit

Notes edit

  1. ^
    Since the start of 2014–15 season, Tirana retired the number 12 as a recognition towards the Tirona Fanatics, the club's biggest fanbase, considered the 12th man in the pitch.[82]

References edit

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  6. ^ Kampionatet e kohës së Luftës II Botërore Archived 5 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
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  29. ^ Adela Merko (27 June 2014). "Tirana do menaxhohet nga aksionerë. Jepet në përdorim për 18 vite, ndahen borxhet" [Tirana will be managed by shareholders. Will be used for 18 years, debts are allocated] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
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  31. ^ "Laçi fiton Kupën e Shqipërisë, mund 2-1 Kukësin në finale. Veliaj dhe Xhejms bënë diferencën" [Laçi wins Albanian Cup, defeats 2-1 Kukësi in the final. Veliaj and James makes the difference (VIDEO)] (in Albanian). Panorama.com.al. 29 May 2015. Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
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