Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri escape ban over 'political gesture'

The Swiss players were criticised over their gesture which appeared to imitate the eagle displayed on Albania`s flag while celebrating the win over Serbia.

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri escape ban over 'political gesture'
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Moscow: Switzerland goalscorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were fined and warned but escaped bans over their goal celebrations during their 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia on Friday, global soccer body FIFA said on Monday.

The two players, who are ethnic Albanians and of Kosovar heritage, celebrated with a gesture which appeared to imitate the eagle displayed on Albania’s flag.

Serbia refuses to recognize the independence of its former province Kosovo, whose 1.8 million people are mostly ethnic Albanians, which broke away 10 years ago.

They were fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,126.6) each for “unsporting behavior contrary to the principles of fair-play” and warned, while team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, who joined in with the celebrations, was fined 5,000 Swiss francs and given a warning, FIFA said.

The Serbian FA was fined 54,000 Swiss francs and warned for a “display of discriminatory banners and messages” by fans, while its president Slavisa Kokeza and national team coach Mladen Krstajic were fined 5,000 Swiss francs each and warned for comments they made after the game.

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