The Teteks football club, based in Tetovo, Macedonia, has taken to its social media platforms to voice concerns over ethnic discrimination affecting its operations. The club, along with FC Ljuboten and ZFK Ljuboten, has claimed that they have been denied access to the city’s old and new stadiums since the beginning of this year. The reason cited for this denial is their ethnic Macedonian identity, implying a prejudicial treatment of these clubs based on their ethnicity.
The situation has ignited controversy due to the exclusive usage rights of both stadiums being granted solely to FK Shkëndija, an ethnic Albanian football club. Teteks and the other affected clubs have expressed their frustration at this arrangement.
“Is it acceptable in the 21st century that just because we are MACEDONIANS residing in the Municipality of Tetovo, we are denied the basic right to conduct natural grass training?” the clubs questioned in a statement.
The clubs have formally appealed to the municipal authorities, urging them to promptly convene a collective meeting involving all Tetovo football clubs. They seek a collaborative resolution under the patronage of the authorities, which would ensure a fair solution to this issue without causing harm to any party involved. The clubs have also indicated the possibility of staging protests unless their demands for fair access to the stadiums are met.
The matter has gained political attention as well, with the Left political party releasing a statement on the issue. The party criticized the apparent discrimination and accused local politicians, including Tetovo Municipality and Kasami, of perpetuating outdated attitudes and policies from the past century.
“The Left condemns this behaviour by the Tetovo Municipality and Kasami, especially in the context of sports. We stand in solidarity with the Macedonian clubs and support their protests against such arbitrary decisions,” the statement read.
Tetovo is a town characterized by its diverse population, with a majority ethnic Albanian demographic constituting around 60% of the inhabitants. However, allegations of discrimination have been raised by ethnic Macedonians within the town, citing concerns over language laws not being adhered to by the predominantly Albanian city administration.
Teteks football club is a notable institution in the country’s sporting landscape. The team has actively participated in the Macedonian First Football League, which stands as the premier football tier in North Macedonia.