MOSCOW: FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings in opposition to Switzerland gamers Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, trying into their objective celebrations throughout Friday’s win over Serbia on the World Cup.
Each gamers, who’re ethnic Albanians and of Kosovar heritage, celebrated with a gesture which appeared to mimic the eagle displayed on Albanians flag.
Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo, whose 1.eight million individuals are principally ethnic Albanians, which broke away 10 years in the past.
The gamers denied that their celebration was political.
“For me it was a really special day,” mentioned Xhaka. “This is a victory for my family, for Switzerland, Albania, Kosovo. The gesture was for everyone who has supported me; it was not aimed at our opponents. It was a really emotional game.”
Shaqiri mentioned: “It’s nothing to do with politics, it’s about football.”
FIFA mentioned it had additionally opened proceedings in opposition to the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance and the show of political and offensive messages by Serbian followers.
A preliminary FIFA investigation had been opened in opposition to Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic for “alleged statements made in the aftermath of the match”, added the governing physique.
Media stories quoted Krstajic as telling Serbian reporters that German referee Felix Brych, who denied his group a penalty, must be placed on trial in The Hague, dwelling of the United Nations’ warfare crimes tribunal for the previous Yugoslavia.
Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 within the Group E match.