Swiss Challandes named Kosovo coach
PRISTINA (Reuters) – Swiss Bernard Challandes has been named Kosovo coach, the country’s football federation said on Friday.
Challandes, who coached Armenia between 2014 and 2015, replaces Albert Bunjaki, who left his position late last year after Kosovo finished bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.
It was their first attempt to qualify for the World Cup.
Kosovo, who declared independence from Serbia in 2008, became a UEFA and FIFA member in May 2016, amid opposition from Belgrade.
“Kosovo is young and its team is younger,” Challandes told a news conference.“I have watched all the matches and good work was done until now but we have to continue the good work.”
Many players of Kosovan origin have chosen to play international football for other countries, such as Albania and Switzerland.
Swiss internationals Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Valon Behrami all have Kosovan roots.
“I have worked a lot with those players (of Kosovan origin) in Switzerland and I know the mentality of those players and how much they want to win,” Challandes said.“This is the reason why I have accepted this job in Kosovo.”