Switzerland pulled off a stunner as they won the game against Serbia by 2-1. Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were the ones to score goals for the team. However, both have faced a two-match ban for the gestures they made while celebrating a goal, by putting their hands together to form a double-headed eagle. The Albanian has an eagle on their flag. The gestures could evoke tensions in the Balkan region and Serbia. Both Shaqiri and Xhaka are from Kosovo, which was declared independence in 2008. But Serbia still does not recognize their independence and the two countries remain tense.
A statement released by FIFA read, “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.”
“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. Furthermore, a preliminary investigation has been opened against the coach of the Serbian national team Mladen Krstajic for alleged statements made in the aftermath of the said match,” informed the statement issued by FIFA. Vladimir Petković, the coach of the side was unhappy with the celebrations of the players.
After the match he addressed the press and said, “You should never mix politics and football, it’s good to be a fan and important to show respect. It’s clear that emotions surface. I think on and off the pitch we need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this as a sport that brings people together.”