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Xhaka and Shaqiri cleared to play next world cup matches

28 June, 2018, 01:18 | Author: John Swanson
  • W.C: Xhaka, Shaqiri in hot water after controversial celebrations

"We always find a reaction, and this is an important and positive characteristic of my team", he said.

BBC Monitoring reports that in Serbia, pro-government newspaper Informer used a derogatory term for Albanians, saying "the Albanian clan within "clockmakers" team was sending poisoned arrows weeks before, so the match couldn't pass without a provocation".

Swiss captain Lichtsteiner also appeared to make the gesture during the win in Kaliningrad.

The punishment was for "the involvement of Argentinian supporters in fights, throwing objects and homophobic and insulting chants as well as for breaching the Media and Marketing Regulations for failing to attend a flash interview after the match".

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Shaqiri brushed off suggestions of political connotations with his celebration, saying it was instead the product of pure emotion.

"You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal".

"I am so disappointed. because this is our national symbol - the Albanian national symbol - like the maple leaf in Canada", he said.

Shaqiri, 26, was born in Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and his family fled to Switzerland as refugees.

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Romelu Lukaku was also ruled a potential doubt for England's final game of the group, against Belgium on Thursday. Had that result held, Germany would've been eliminated from the World Cup after two matches.

Serbia does not recognise Kosovo's independence and relations between the two countries remain tense. In 2014, a soccer match between the national teams of Serbia and Albania in Belgrade had to be abandoned after rioting provoked by the sudden appearance of a small drone, flying low over the stadium and trailing an Albanian nationalist banner. Shaqiri had posted a photograph on Instagram of his playing boots, one with a Switzerland flag on the heel and the other with a Kosovo flag.

"It's clear that emotion shows up and I think we all together need to steer away from politics and football and focus on this sport as a lovely game that brings people together".

Serbian Football Association president Slavisa Kokeza and Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic were each fined 5,000 Swiss francs for comments they made after the match.

Serbia was furious when Brych failed to award a spot-kick in the 66th minute after Aleksandar Mitrovic was wrestled to the ground in the penalty area by Swiss defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schaer.

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The Swiss duo are both of Kosovar-Albanian heritage and the celebrations were perceived in some quarters as being provocative considering the backdrop of tension between ethnic Albanians and nationalist Serbs.


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