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Albania president clashes with PM over passport for Ghana's Winful Cobbinah 

Published on: 24 October 2020
Albania president clashes with PM over passport for Ghana's Winful Cobbinah 
Government decree granting Cobbinah Albania citizenship

 

Albanian President Ilir Meta has been accused of forging documents to grant Ghana International Winful Cobbinah Albanian citizenship by Prime Minister Edi Rama.

The Albania president Ilir Meta granted full citizenship of the south-eastern European country to the Ghanaian who had just spent just two years in Albania as five years of continuous legal stay is required to apply for citizenship.

Winful Cobbinah's Albanian citizenship was facilitated just within eight hours.

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama is reported to have reacted to the move by the President to grant full citizenship to the Ghanaian and has accused him of forging documents for the FK Tirana star.

Spokesperson for the Albanian president Tedi Blushi has reacted to the accusations being made by the Prime Minister concerning the forging of documents by the President to grant Cobbinah, Albanian citizenship.

He described the claims made by the Albanian Prime Minister as an anti-national attack on FK Tirana and their supporters in a post on Twitter.

"Ilir Meta has as much to do with the Constitution as it has to do with the Golden Ball, that African footballer who received the Albanian passport for 8 hours from Ilir, while he was under accusation in Albania for forging documents! Both together, yes, they have a connection: They scored a goal with the head of justice!"

 

Given that the Ghanaian has not spent five years in Albania, the decision by the President of the country - who is also an ardent supporter of KF Tirana - to hand citizenship to the Ghanaian speaks volumes of how he is rated in that country.

Many also view this move by the Albanian government as an attempt to convince Cobbinah to switch nationality to play for them even though he has been invited to the Ghana senior national team a couple of times.

But with the softening of the nationality switch regulations of FIFA it could be a move by Albania for them to get him to play for them even though Cobbinah has not expressed interest in playing for him.

Other also say that  the Albanian club side Tirana want him to play in UEFA club competitions as a native so they can bring in more foreigners.

Cobbinah follows other African football players including the well-known Abraham Alechenu, Charles Ofoye and James Adeniyi who have all received Albanian passport in the past.

The former Hearts of Oak star played an influential role for the side as they clinched the  Katergoria Superiorelast season, ending a 11-year top-flight drought with their last success dating back in the 2008/2009 season.

Since joining from Ghanaian giants Hearts of Oak two years ago, Cobbinah has been a mainstay of the side, scoring 10 goals in a combined 58 matches so far and making several assists.

The poster boy has been rewarded by the country's President after granting his citizenship just within two years.

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