Xherdan Shaqiri, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka have been fined by FIFA for their celebrations during Switzerland’s dramatic 2-1 win over Serbia.
The trio were all charged on Sunday after being seen to make ‘double eagle’ hand gestures – a reference to their Kosovar-Albanian heritage, the Albanian flag featuring a two-headed eagle – after Shaqiri’s 90th-minute winning goal.
Shaqiri was born in Kosovo (and played with a Kosovan flag on his boots) while Xhaka was born to Albanian parents who were originally from Serbia. Indeed, the latter’s father was even held as a political prisoner in the 1960s after being arrested during a student demonstration protesting the communist government in Yugoslavia.
Lichsteiner was also fined for joining in with the celebrations, but it’s been confirmed that all three have escaped suspension…
No bans from FIFA for Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner over Swiss goal celebrations
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 25, 2018
While Pies are loathe to start dissecting Balkan politics, in a nutshell the celebrations were deemed inflammatory as things are still tense between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo.
After years of war and strife, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia a decade ago, though Serbia themselves still refuse to fully recognise it.
Think we’ll leave it at that.