Kuqi is excused

SHEFKI Kuqi has been exempted from national service in Finland, writes Derek Davis.The 28-year-old Kosovan-born striker has been told he need not report for military duty as he has dual nationality.

SHEFKI Kuqi has been exempted from national service in Finland, writes Derek Davis.

The 28-year-old Kosovan-born striker has been told he need not report for military duty as he has dual nationality.

The out-of-contract Blues player is being targeted by a number of Premiership clubs, including Blackburn, and his intention to stay in England is one of the factors excusing him from joining up.

Although he fled to Finland from his war-torn native Kosovo, Kuqi was only given a Finnish passport in 1999, and moved to England two years later to join Stockport County.


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The burly striker moved to Sheffield Wednesday but switched to the Blues in September 2003, scoring on his debut at Watford. His hard-working style has caught the attention of a number of top-flight managers who are tempted to see if he can step up to the Premiership and, as he is a free agent, could recoup any wages by selling him to a Championship club if it doesn't work out.

Kuqi is due to play for Finland in an international friendly in Tampere tonight and next Wednesday against Holland in a World Cup qualifier in Helsinki.

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