Some Albanian soccer set to resume, but not the top division

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation decided Wednesday to end its boycott for all levels below the top division.

The start of the season in September did not begin as scheduled after most of the top teams agreed not to play while they asked the government for more financial support.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has said that it has already fulfilled most of their requests.

The federation has now told all the clubs below the top league to resume this weekend. The Football Professional League, which is comprised of nine of the 10 clubs in the top division, will decide at a meeting of club presidents on Friday whether to resume the championship.

The FPL has asked the government to exclude players from income tax for up to 10 years, increasing the period from two years. It also wants to lower the value added tax for all soccer economic activities from 20% to 6%, cancel the not-paid fiscal obligations and draft a new law on sponsorship.

Fidel Ylli, a left-wing Socialist lawmaker representing the government in the talks with the FPL, has said the Cabinet fully understands the requests but doesn’t negotiate under pressure.

Rama openly criticized club owners who want to “discharge in their clubs the financial obligations they owe to the state for the other business activities.”

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