Agim Ibraimi (R); photo:

Agim Ibraimi will arrive in Ohrid on Sunday

Agim Ibraimi (R); photo: siol.netDespite manager John Toshack wanting to start preparations for the Albania friendly on 9 November, Agim Ibraimi will arrive in Macedonia tomorrow as he played for Maribor in today’s league game against Rudar.

Attacker Agim Ibraimi, included by Toshack among the 24 players for the Albania friendly, decided to stay in Slovenia and played in today’s league game against Rudar.  Ibraimi started in left midfield for Maribor and played until the 90th minute when he was replaced by Matic Črnic.  Maribor recorded a 3:0 road victory over Rudar as this game was played today since the original meeting, scheduled for several weeks ago, was postponed because of Maribor being involved in Europa League qualifications.

John Toshack wanted to begin preparations for the Albania friendly on 9 November but now Ibraimi will arrive tomorrow on 13 November while the game against Albania will be played two days later.  Will he be ready to play in the game with such a late arrival?  There seems to be no consistency.  We can use the example of Mirko Ivanovski.  His club team, Arka Gdynia, also played a league game today but Ivanovski was not on the team as he is in Ohrid with the Macedonian squad.  So, one player stayed with his club team while the other showed up to the national team.  Did Maribor ask FFM for Ibraimi to stay with the Slovenian club until Sunday?  If so, what if Arka wanted Mirko Ivanovski to stay?

There has to be clear rules when it comes to this issue.  Every player must be treated equally and shown the same treatment.  The national team should always take priority over the club team.  Even if Maribor asked FFM to keep Ibraimi until Sunday, the answer should have been no.  Maribor can play one game without Ibraimi just like other teams who have players on international duty.  Playing for the national team is a privilege, not a right and FFM must be more consistent regarding this issue.

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