Switzerland stars Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka under FIFA investigation for ‘Albanian Eagle’ goal celebration

Switzerland stars Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka under FIFA investigation for ‘Albanian Eagle’ goal celebration

Following their targets in Switzerland’s 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday, Swiss stars Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri each appeared to make the double eagle image from the Albanian flag with their palms. Serbia was upset by the gesture and requested FIFA to think about disciplinary motion. FIFA has opened proceedings against the pair, and if discovered responsible of a provocatory offense, the pair might be suspended for two video games.

The battle between the nations presently often known as Kosovo and Serbia has been taking place for centuries, with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic escalating tensions within the late 1980s. Hundreds of 1000’s of ethnic Albanians have been pushed from their houses or killed within the 90s, resulting in NATO airstrikes, a refugee disaster, and accusations of genocide towards the federal government of Milosevic, who died in jail at The Hague throughout his trial for conflict crimes.

Kosovo’s independence was acknowledged by the worldwide neighborhood in 2008, however tensions have continued since.

In 2014, a European Championship qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a fight on the pitch. Someone used a drone to fly into the stadium carrying a flag of “Greater Albania” — an space of land containing Albania and components of Serbia, Kosovo, Greece, Montenegro and Macedonia — that some ethnic Albanians view as their full homeland. The thought is very controversial, particularly in Serbia, and the gang was incensed. But when a Serbian participant ripped down the flag, the Albanian gamers have been livid, a battle broke out, and the match was known as off.

Xhaka and Shaqiri each come from households with Albanian heritage. Xhaka’s father was imprisoned for three years for protesting the Yugoslav authorities and emigrated to Switzerland shortly earlier than Xhaka was born. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo in 1991, across the time that Yugoslavia dissolved Kosovo’s authorities for declaring independence, and his household emigrated to Switzerland when he was a toddler.

Shaqiri wears boots with a Swiss flag on one shoe, and a Kosovar flag on the opposite. Before the match, Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic hit out at him, saying “If he loves Kosovo so much and decides to flaunt the flag, why did he refuse a chance to play for their team?

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A put up shared by XS (@shaqirixherdan) on

In any occasion, Shaqiri and Xhaka each play for Switzerland. And after their targets, they did this.


Serbia v Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images


Serbia v Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

How FIFA would make the argument that these celebrations are towards the foundations is hard to determine. The image that each are making, the Albanian Eagle, is on Albania’s official nationwide flag. There’s no rule towards displaying an emblem like this, as a result of there couldn’t presumably be — FIFA shows the nations’ flags itself earlier than matches. But gamers could be suspended for celebrations that “provoke the general public,” which the Serbian FA argues the gamers did.

Whatever FIFA decides, lots of people are going to be indignant. And if FIFA really thinks it can keep politics out of the World Cup, it should probably think twice about, say, stuff like this.


Russia v Saudi Arabia: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

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