Serbian Football Association complain about Swiss footballers Xhaka, Shaqiri eagle salute celebration
Monday, June 25, 2018
In Friday's match, Switzerland defeated Serbia 2–1 with goals from Xhaka and Shaqiri. Both the players celebrated their goals by making hand gestures resembling the double-headed eagle on the Albanian national flag. Xhaka and Shaqiri are both of Kosovar-Albanian origin, and grew up in Switzerland. Kosovo is a former Serbian province which separated from the country in 2008. Serbia, however, does not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state. A large proportion of the 1.8 million citizens of Kosovo are ethnic Albanians.
Xherdan Shaqiri's football boots had both an Albanian flag and a Swiss flag. After the match, the Serbian Football Association secretary general,, said he would raise the issues of the "boots, a question of several controversial flags and the celebration of both goals for Switzerland". Per FIFA guidelines, players found guilty of "provoking the general public" face a fine as well as suspension for up to two matches.
After the match, Granit Xhaka said, "Frankly, my opponents did not interest me at all [...] It was for my people, who always supported me. For those who did not neglect me, in my homeland, where my parents' roots are. These were purely emotions." Meanwhile Shaqiri, who scored the late winning goal said, "I can't discuss the gesture I am afraid. We are footballers, not politicians[...] Emotions sometimes take over footballers and there was a lot of emotion out there."
Swiss coachsaid, "I think we all together need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this sport as a beautiful game and something that brings people together."
Two Swiss government officials, Sports Ministerand Foreign Minister supported Xhaka and Shaqiri's celebration. Cassis said, "I have no doubt that you can feel patriotic emotions for the land which has taken you in without forgetting your roots".
FIFA has also launched an investigation for disciplinary action against Serbian supporters for "the display of political and offensive messages". Another action is being taken against Serbian Football Association president German referee , were biased towards Switzerland.for asserting that the match officials, including
- Brian Homewood. "Swiss ministers support Xhaka, Shaqiri over goal celebrations" — , June 24, 2018
- Ben Rumsby for The Daily Telegraph. "Xhaka, Shaqiri and Lichtsteiner could be BANNED for Switzerland's final match over controversial gesture" — , June 24, 2018
- Sid Lowe. "Switzerland's Xhaka and Shaqiri charged by Fifa over Serbia goal celebrations" — , June 23, 2018
- "FIFA opens disciplinary case over Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka celebrations" — , June 23, 2018
- Mike Corder for Associated Press. "Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol" — , June 22, 2018
- Serbia v Switzerland - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - Match 26" — , June 22, 2018 . "
- "FIFA eröffnet Verfahren gegen Granit Xhaka und Xherdan Shaqiri" — , June 23, 2018