Kosovo-Tied Swiss Players Criticized For Albania Gesture At World Cup Game

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They made "double eagle" gestures after scoring, symbolising the Albanian flag.

Global soccer body Federation Internationale de Football Association has opened disciplinary proceedings after the two players, who are ethnic Albanians and of Kosovar heritage, celebrated with a gesture which appeared to imitate the eagle displayed on Albania's flag.

The BBC reported that Krstajic was speaking to Serbian reporters about German match referee Felix Brych when he said: "I wouldn't give him either a yellow or red card, I would send him to The Hague". Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

According to the reports, FIFA will check their actions for consistency with the Article 54 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code "Provoking the general public".

Switzerland, which counts among its team a number of players of Balkan origin, beat Serbia 2:1 on June 22, leaving Serbia needing a win against Brazil to advance from the group stages of the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Stoke midfielder Shaqiri was asked about his celebration after the game, and put it down to pure emotion in the moment. "And I think the main thing is that we were not able to finish our opportunities".

His father was a political prisoner following the 1986 student demonstrations in Yugoslavia against the communist government in Belgrade.

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

However, the trio will not be suspended for Russian Federation 2018 fixtures after FIFA closed the case against them, issuing Xhaka and Shaqiri each with a CHF 10,000 (£7,637) fine. Each had scored in Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia, whose crackdown on the Albanian population was ended by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervention in 1999.

It added that the two Swiss players "celebrated their success with a "black eagle" sign of people who believe in the idea of the so-called 'Greater Albania'".

When Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic was questioned about the gestures, he said: "I can only repeat what I already said yesterday - you should never mix politics and football".

At the stroke of full time, Shakiri scored Switzerland's victor from a swift counter-attack, then the Stoke City midfielder celebrated by crossing his fingers.

In October a year ago, Barcelona star Gerard Pique offered to stand down from Spain duty if he is deemed a problem by coach Julen Lopetegui or Spanish Football Federation as a result of his support for Catalan independence.

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