By Chris Wright
Highly-rated young Swiss midfielder Granit Xkaha’s international future has been thrown into doubt this morning after the 19-year old used his Facebook account to fess up to purposefully spurning a goal-scoring chance against Albania in a World Cup qualifier last night while suffering from a identity crisis in front of goal.
Xhaka, who moved from Basel to Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, was born in Kosovo to Albanian parents after the family was uprooted during the Yugoslavian civil war of the 1990s, with the family again moving on and settling in Switzerland while Granit and his elder brother Taulant (who currently plays for Grasshopper Zurich) were very young – though he obviously still feels his heritage to be staunchly Albanian.
Xhaka posted the following on Facebook…
Now it’s all well and good feeling strongly about one’s roots, though why anyone chooses to take immense pride in an accident of birth is beyond Pies. Perhaps a civil war-less childhood has bought on that kind of apathy in us.
Anyway, it’s quite another thing to corrupt a sporting contest on such grounds. It wasn’t an overly heinous crime and Xhaka didn’t throw the match as such (he hasn’t made any material gain), plus he’s to be commended for publicly admitting his wobble directly afterwards – but we’d wager that he may never play for Switzerland again, especially as he obviously doesn’t feel that he’s able to represent the shirt on his back without feeling disingenuous.
It’s certainly a toughy for the Swiss FA.