Article

Shaqiri, Xhaka facing disciplinary action over goal celebration

24 June 2018 00:29

Switzerland stars Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka are facing disciplinary action from FIFA after their provocative goal celebration against Serbia at the World Cup.

The pair struck in the second half to lead Switzerland to a come-from-behind 2-1 win in Russia on Friday, but it was their celebration that took most attention.

Shaqiri and Xhaka put their hands together to form what looked like a two-headed eagle, similar to the one on the flag of Albania, threatening to inflame political tensions in the Balkans.

"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," the governing body said in a statement on Saturday.

Shaqiri and Xhaka are of Kosovar heritage, with the former born in the partially recognised nation which was fought over by forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – Montenegro and Serbia at that time – and the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s.

Despite being recognised by UEFA, Serbia refuses to see Kosovo as an independent state, meaning relations remain tense.

FIFA has also opened proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for "crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans".

A preliminary investigation was opened against Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic for alleged statements made post-match.

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