Federation Internationale de Football Association opens case against Shaqiri & Xhaka over controversial eagle celebrations

26 June, 2018, 02:25 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri training with the Swiss team

Russian Federation has long supported Serbia's claim to Kosovo, siding with their fellow Christian Orthodox Slavs against the territory's Albanian Muslim majority.

According to the reports, FIFA will check their actions for consistency with the Article 54 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code "Provoking the general public".

Xhaka and Shaqiri made hand gestures of a two-headed eagle after scoring goals, and Swiss captain Lichtsteiner joined in the celebration.

Football's world governing body Fifa is investigating whether they broke rules on political and offensive messages. However, its independence remains a contentious political issue, as it has not been recognized by an array of countries, including Serbia and Russian Federation.

The two players trace their roots to Kosovo, a former province of Serbia that declared independence in 2008, a move that Belgrade still refuses to recognise.

Serbian Football Association president Slavisa Kokeza and Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic were each fined 5,000 Swiss francs for comments they made after the match.

The Serbian press meanwhile called Shaqiri's goal celebration "shameful provocation".

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The BBC reported that Krstajic was speaking to Serbian reporters about German match referee Felix Brych when he said: "I wouldn't give him either a yellow or red card, I would send him to The Hague".

Both the Switzerland and Serbia teams played down any political factors before the game last Friday.

Winger Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and midfielder Xhaka was born to Albanian parents who were originally from Serbia. "Then they could put him on trial, like they did to us". Though some people supported the two players, others wondered why the game was being politicised in the first place.

"It's good to be a fan and important to show respect", Petkovic said. "I think that's something that was expected already more than 10 years ago in football, and I don't know why they waited for so long, but it's refreshing to see it".

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and plays with the Kosovan flag stitched into his boots.

In October previous year, Barcelona star Gerard Pique offered to stand down from Spain duty if he is deemed a problem by coach Julen Lopetegui or Spanish Football Federation as a result of his support for Catalan independence.



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