News ID: 217218
Published: 0227 GMT June 24, 2018

Switzerland's Xhaka, Shaqiri face bans over goal celebrations

Switzerland's Xhaka, Shaqiri face bans over goal celebrations
Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka (L) and Xherdan Shaqiri make a double-headed-eagle gesture after scoring against Serbia in Kaliningrad, Russia, on June 22, 2018.
LAURENT GILLIERON/EPA

Switzerland pair Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri face two-match bans for their goal celebrations in their side's World Cup victory over Serbia.

Football's world governing body FIFA is investigating whether they broke rules on political and offensive messages, BBC Sport reported.

Both players are ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population only ended with Nato military intervention in 1999.

They made 'double eagle' gestures after scoring, symbolizing the Albanian flag.

The country's flag carries the image of a double-headed eagle.

BBC Sport understands FIFA will examine if the gestures can be classed as provocation.

Under article 54 of the governing body's disciplinary code, "anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,800)".

It is thought FIFA plans to call expert witnesses to explain how the goal celebrations could be classed as provocative.

It will be argued that the behavior illustrates the Albanian nationalist-supported notion of a Greater Albania, which makes territorial claims on parts of Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.

If FIFA's case is upheld, then the players would miss the last Group E game against Costa Rica and the last-16 match if Switzerland qualifies.

 

 

   
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