Xhaka, Shaqiri display controversial goal celebrations in win over Serbia

Paola Ditto
Giugno 24, 2018

Both put their open hands together with their thumbs locked and fingers outstretched to make what looks like the double-headed eagle displayed on Albania's national flag, The Guardian have reported.

The Serbs had taken the lead through a fifth-minute header from Aleksandar Mitrovic, before Switzerland struck back with a fierce drive from Xhaka on 57 minutes, before Shaqiri burst free from the half-way line to score in the last minute.

The gesture is likely to inflame tensions among Serb nationalists and ethnic Albanians.

"In relation to the same match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans".

Xhaka was born to Kosovan-Albanian parents and has a brother, Taulant, who represents the national team.

Another, former Watford midfielder Behrami, was fit to play five days on from limping off in the 1-1 draw with Brazil, with Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic naming an unchanged starting line-up.

"It's clear that emotions show up and that's how things happen".

"I'm not into politics", Serbia's coach, Mladen Krstajic, told reporters before the game.

There was also a mixed reaction in the Swiss media. "But their political sensitivity and social awareness left much to be desired", said the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ).

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

Switzerland came right back into the game seven minutes after halftime thanks to Xhaka's fulminating strike after a rebound fell nicely into his path.

The pair have both denied their celebrations were anything to do with politics. With time running out and the clock creeping past 90, the diminutive attacker broke, sprinting forward and stroking the victor past Stojkovic, bringing joy to not just the entirety of Switzerland, but Kosovo and Albania as well.

"It was for my people, who always supported me. It was a really emotional game". "You can see what I did and I think it's just emotion". You can see what I did, I have emotions.

We think we were roughly injured in the 66th minute and we're sure to file a Federation Internationale de Football Association appeal. The team of a player whose basic equipment has political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

They now face the daunting task of getting a result against Brazil in their final game.

However, after a six-month loan spell with Fulham, the striker hit insatiable form towards the tail end of the season - and just in time for the World Cup - as his goals helped the west London club clinch promotion to the Premier League.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE