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Switzerland Stars Facing Disciplinary Action For Goal Celebrations

24 June 2018

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their goal celebration during the match Switzerland vs. Serbia", FIFA said in an official statement.

The Swiss came from behind to record a 2-1 win over the Serbians on Friday and boosted their chances of qualifying for the last 16.

Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated their goals by displaying the Albania national double-headed eagle symbol with their hands.

Federation Internationale de Football Association announced on Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Switzerland duo Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri after a controversial gesture made during the team's World Cup victory over Serbia.

Football's world governing body has begun disciplinary proceedings against the players over their apparent Albanian nationalist gestures.

The use of the Albanian "crossed hands" symbol, which is also used by the Albanian football team to celebrate goals, could be read as a provocative act given Kosovo was a former province of their opponents Serbia - a country which has never formally recognised Kosovo's independence and which has attempted to prevent the fledgling nation from competing in sport at the global level. Serbia doesn't recognise Kosovo's independence and relations between the two countries remain tense.

Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic indicated after the win that he was unimpressed by Shaqiri and Xhaka's celebrations.

NZZ described Shaqiri and Xhaka as the Switzerland's two most talented footballers of their generation but said they "should have let the football speak for itself".

The build-up to the match had seen exchanges between Serbian players and Shaqiri, who wears boots with the Kosovo flag displayed on one heel and the Swiss one on the other.

Asked about the celebration of his 90th minute individual winning goal, Shaqiri said: "I think in football you have always emotions".

But Shaqiri, who was booed constantly by fans of Serbia throughout the match, put his use of the Albanian gesture down to the heat of the moment.

Xhaka's brother plays soccer for Albania's national team.

"I wouldn't give him either a yellow or red card, I would send him to the Hague. Then they could put him on trial, like they did to us", said Krstajic, referring to the war crimes tribunal for the ex-Yugoslavia.

"You should never mix politics and football", he said.

Switzerland Stars Facing Disciplinary Action For Goal Celebrations