Explained: The Kosovo Celebration That Could See Xhaka & Shaqiri Banned

Coutinho’s pass map in the final third via Stats Zone

In a statement FIFA said: "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".

Both players celebrated with the gesture of the double eagle, which appears on the national flag of Albania - a country with which Serbia has a turbulent and troubled past.

The football governing body has also reportedly begun a probe into supposed comments made by Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic after the controversial World Cup encounter, as well as against the Serbia FA for potential "crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages", according to the Guardian.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but 10 years later, Serbia does not recognise Kosovo's independence. Shaqiri, who has flags of Kosovo and Switzerland on his shoes, was born in Yugoslavia, then moved to Switzerland when he was a child.

Two stars of Switzerland's World Cup team were fined by the tournament organizers on Monday for celebrating goals against Serbia last week with a gesture that honored their roots in Kosovo, the former Serbian province. Xhaka's father was a political prisoner following the 1968 student demonstrations in Yugoslavia against the communist government in Belgrade.

Federation Internationale de Football Association also fined Serbia manager Mladen Krstajic and FSS president Slavisa Kokeza 5,000 Swiss francs each over their scathing post-match attacks on the officiating in their 2-1 defeat.




Switzerland needs to win or draw with Costa Rica on Wednesday to be sure of qualifying.

It will be argued that the behaviour illustrates the Albanian nationalist-supported notion of a Greater Albania, which makes territorial claims on parts of Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. Serbia does not recognize that independence.

The two players were fined for the "unsporting behavior" of, in the eyes of the officials, provoking Serbian fans in the stadium by making the gesture.

Stoke midfielder Shaqiri was asked about his celebration after the game, and put it down to pure emotion in the moment.

Krstajic told Serbian journalists that German referee Felix Brych should be tried for war crimes in The Hague for failing to award his team a penalty. They noted that Shaqiri wore boots carrying flags of both Switzerland and Kosovo.

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