Sunday, July 3, 2022

FIFA investigate Xhaka and Shaqiri goal celebrations

FIFA has confirmed it has opened disciplinary proceedings against Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, after their goal celebrations during Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Serbia started a diplomatic row.

Both players, who are ethnic Albanians of Kosovar heritage, used their hands to seemingly imitate the eagle on the Albanian flag. Shaqiri also wore boots sporting the Albanian flag.

The gesture has been deemed provocative by Serbia who does not recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo, which broke away 10 years ago and whose 1.8 million people are mostly ethnic Albanians.

The players deny the gesture was political, however, when asked about his celebration after the game, Xhaka said: “For me it was a really special day.

“This is a victory for my family, for Switzerland, Albania, Kosovo. The gesture was for everyone who has supported me; it was not aimed at our opponents. It was a really emotional game.”

For context, Xhaka’s father was arrested and jailed for three and a half years by the Yugoslav government in the late 1980s for protesting in favour of Kosovan independence. He and his family moved to Switzerland in 1990 with Granit born two years later in Basel. His family’s struggles were the focus of a Guardian interview in November. 

From what we can tell, there’s a risk of a two-game ban for both Xhaka and Shaqiri which, imposed, would represent a huge blow to the Swiss. After two games they are level with Brazil on 4 points and can qualify from Group E on Wednesday night by beating Costa Rica.

FIFA has also confirmed that it has opened proceedings against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance, the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. They’ve also opened a preliminary investigation into Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic for some of his post-match comments.

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Well, that was totally unnecessary from xhaka and shaqiri to be honest.Would never like football and politics to be in together.

Workers of the World Unite

Yes, yes, we mustn’t upset our corporate overlords or offend those in power.


If you have something that means alot to you and you have a platform to make your view know surely you would. Id imagine this issue is bigger than football for these guys


I’d take the ban any day if I were Xhaka in his circumstance.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

You’ve got to exist to play football. I think FIFA used to ban apartheid South Africa, wasn’t that political?

A Different George

I think FIFA used the rationale that they banned South Africa because the apartheid government interfered with the FA in choosing the teams, by banning mixed-race teams. For a similar reason, the Hitler regime had to pretend that Jews were allowed on the 1936 German Olympic team.

But I think this is quite different–Xhaka and Shaqiri don’t have power over other people’s lives or livelihood, they haven’t done anything more than express an intention to honour their Kosovo roots.


Most people would have done exactly the same if they were in Xhaka or Shakiri’s boots.


It was totally unnecessary for Serbia to commit genocide against ethnic Albanians, it’s totally unnecessary that Serbia still refuses to recognise Kosovo, it’s totally unnecessary that the Serbian supporters heckled and booed them all through the game. A couple of eagle signs doesn’t even compare.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

So you know your “history” based on how it was written by NATO…really deep knowledge there…


So Cyprus, you are here to say Serbia committed no genocide and no was crimes against Albanians? You would no doubt claim Mladic didn’t appear on Serbian fan shirts and the Serbs and their Ruski brothers weren’t whistling the Albanians throughout the game. Kosovo je Serbija chanted all the time but the Serbs act butthurt when they see a double headed eagle.

There is little sadder than the aggressor playing the victim.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

I’m saying that the Balkan matter is far more complex than most of the people living in NATO countries have knowledge of. There were condemning atrocities from both sides. Xhaka chose to play in another national team and on that night he was playing for Switzerland and not Albania. I could justify his brother doing that gesture because his brother plays for Albania but Xhaka for all his proud and life changing past chose to represent another country…


Albania and Kosovo are two differen’t countries. But continue to lecture on how complex your understanding of the region is…

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Putting out generalized comments like that is easy. Xhaka made the Albanian eagle sign didn’t he? Additionally Cosovo was not even declared at the time so Xhaka couldn’t have chosen to play for a non existent country, could he? His whole life he was a Swiss born player out of Albanian parents. Having said that you could well be more informed than me in the Balkan matter…


My understanding is Xhaka asked to move to the Kosovo team and wasn’t allowed, Shaqiri too. He was Swiss born to Kosovar Albanian parents… his roots are in Kosovo, not Albania. Albanian ethnicity isn’t Albanian nationality.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Pedro did you find his actions to be correct having in mind that he was representing another country in a world cup?



Also, nationality and ethnicity aren’t nenecessarily the same thing.

Also, Serbia and Russia are somewhat responsible for Xhaka being unable to play for Kosovo, so fuck their feelings. Serbia treats Kosovo as Serbian but they don’t invite Albanians to play for Serbia do they.


Wrong, we had Albanian players back in the day. Maybe not playing for national teams but I do recall Alabanians did playing for Partizan in the 80s…

Billy Enfield

What was was wrong with what they did?
Please elaborate?

Free speech

So what’s your problem? Players have the right to express themselves as they want. Who they play for doesn’t change their identity or their point of view.

Billy Enfield

No, Kyprus. You seem to be “well informed” on the matter of politics in Balkan. You can’t even spell Kosovo.
“Atrocities by both sides”… does that mean that half of Greece is Turkish land???
If you aren’t well informed on subject, don’t do what SkySports does. Feeling sorry for the aggressors.


Thats a really feeble line of reasoning.




@pedro. cyprus the immortal gunner


One of my best friends and his wife live in Kosova and I can say that our understanding is pretty accurate. If anything, we don’t have a deep enough understnading. Serbia did commit genocide against Albanians and they still do not recognize Kosova as a country and treat them cruelly. My friend grew up in Kosova and has plenty of stories of friends ghat lost family members harshly at the hands of the Serbs. Xhaka playing for Switzerland doesn’t mean he can forget the feelings that well up inside of him when he thinks of the atrocities that were committed… Read more »


“and has plenty of stories of friends ghat lost family members harshly at the hands of the Serbs”

Well guess what, Serbians have similar stories about lost loved ones. Let’s not pretend Serbians are some unique ghouls here…

Billy Enfield

Yeah, sure. For every Serbian (soldier) that Albanian killed, Serbs killed 50 innocent Albanian civilians!!!
Your logic is great.

Eric Blair

There’s a lot of simplistic binary nonsense being spouted on here. I’m not really sure this is a worthwhile topic for Arseblog News yet here I am, so… Since we (the West) were at war with Serbia we were subject to a lot of insidious propaganda about Serbs that colours the way we see them. They are often portrayed, as they are here, as demonic. While the actions of some were certainly demonic, normal Serbian people also suffered in this conflict and a quick look at the history of the KLA will show the other side were not all angels… Read more »

Billy Enfield

Mr Blair. As much as you try to mask your sympathy for the Serbians, you fail miserably to be unbiased. The Double Headed Eagle that Xhaka, Shaqiri and Linchtsteiner did, was a flag sign… Not a AK47. They’ve been under the abuse of Serbians (and their big-brother Russians) from the moment they stepped out on the pitch for the warm up. And about KLA, you have been informed by your Serbian friends. Serbs (like their Russian brothers) are excellent on playing “the Victim “ whilst committing genocide. But you’re part of the media that portrays Albanians at the root to… Read more »


Granit stayed with Switzerland because he said that Switzerland had given his family a home when they had been in need. It’s perfectly possible to have an identity that encompasses more than one country, it happens all the time in the modern world. The abuse and hatred that was spewing down from the stands was shocking, and I think the double eagle was a pretty polite way of saying “fuck you” in the face of that continuous hate. If FIFA was serious about banning politics in football they should have cleared out the stadium before the match started, or stopped… Read more »

Dave M

“It’s perfectly possible to have an identity that encompasses more than one country,” This…well said. Anybody should be able to make a statement, if its done in a respectful manner. Identifying a countries flag to remind of an issue that serbian fans (and coach) are bringing up during and after the game. If people can’t handle having something political being brought up in their precious little sporting viewing its because unlike others their lives haven’t been destroyed by politics. IMO athletes should be doing more to use their position of power to highlight injustices around the world, especially because the… Read more »

Billy Enfield

Admirable post Dave.
Spot on with that line about people being so Dramatic Queen about “Political Correctness” because they don’t even understand what it means to grow up in a family that have lost so many relatives just because they have an opinion (which happens to be in clash with Serbian ideology).


He is still Albanian heritage, his father was still persecuted by Serbia, Serbians are still being bigots. Pardon my rudeness but to Tottenham with your hangups.

Parlour’s Pay Packet

Aka the county of his birth

Auba ma Ying

Oh, the good old “it’s complex” excuse. Just like we use for the Palestinian cause.

Jack Action

Kosovo has been a part of Serbia for hundreds of years. And it’s completely erroneous to suggest that there is only one side in the dispute wearing the black hats – there’s plenty of wrong doing on both sides to go around.

David C

well said Vonnie!!!

Michael Bolton Wanderers

No, but I think it’s a big no no to provoke supporters with any gesture or provocation. Parts of the crowd could have rioted and gotten violent in worst case scenario. So it might be FIFA punish xhaka and shaqiri to prevent situations where it might get ugly for real


Trust me you don’t want to talk history between Muslim nations, European nations and the Slavic people. Look up Slavic slavery. Basically there is more than a millenium worth of oppression and slavery and slavs was allmost stomped out of existence several times. But it was all fun and games until the tables we’re turned i guess. Eventually Slavs united and did some conquering of their own and carved out a sizeable piece of the planet for themselves with the biggest slavic nation of today being Russia. I am not Slav but Scandinavian, but i am interested in history and… Read more »


Cyprus The Immortal Gooner is deliberately using typical tactics of “whataboutism”, vague statements, and attacking the messengers rather than the historical facts. All of this is frequent trolling strategy employed by online agents of authoritarian states in recent years to undermine liberal democracies worldwide.

He’s trying to distract from the clear historical fact that people like Xhaka and Shaqiri were displaced because of war and genocide. There’s no “alternative facts” or controversy about this.


Well said.

Jack Action

Rounding up ethnic Albanians and putting them on trains to the border is wrong and harsh, but not genocide. Don’t toss that word around loosely. Genocide is what happened in Rwanda. What happened in Kosovo was not genocide.

Jack but

I would have my middle finger shown up… To whom it may concern


The sad truth is football and politics ARE together. But if FIFA can look the other way and allow a World Cup in Russia and Qatar, allow a team to be based in a place like Chechnya, with worse human rights than Mordor, then they should let this go with a fine. But the hypocrites won’t.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

It wasn’t so long ago that my country was part of your great empire…so stop talking about hypocrites because I have similar stories to Xhaka’s to write…


What a load of bs. World Cup was held in and will again be in the US, the country that wages wars on a whim, and is responsible for millions of sufferings.
Russia and Qatar are better countries for all i care.

Bould's Eyeliner

America sucks, but it sucks less than a modern slave-trafficking caliphate based on bogus sharia law. It also sucks less than a country that can’t put together a World Cup stadium that won’t sink into the ground in ten years. But that’s my personal opinion, and it isn’t everything under the sun.

Who’s better? Who’s worse? These are adjectives to describe people. Don’t blanket a nation with stupid adjectives for the convenience of your personal moral compass.


oh boy, you reachin’ !
Comparing US to ISIS just to show they’re good enough lol.
Sure anything is better than that. but the point is in the comment above, criticizing fifa for choosing countries said to be “bad”.
I’m just sayin if we’re counting bad countries, then don’t leave the big bad wolf out of it.

Bould's Eyeliner

I hear u and agree. I am always dissatisfied with how my home conducts itself in the global scene, and I am not alone among Americans. Keep calling it as it is bro.


Red Sky = ISIS lover.


Very stupid.


Lets get to the point. Banning any political display in football is unambiguously a highly-charged political act in itself. Sure there should be a line, but it is drawn far from what Xhaka and Shaqiri did. They should not be punished. And there is no way they would have not done it either way. Its political only to those its not personal to.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

So you would have no problem if during the Apollon vs Everton game 3 months ago, a Cypriot player whose father or grandfather was tortured or even hanged under the Queens order displayed offensive behaviour against the Queen??? In order to make statements like that my friend you have to be fair and objective to all sides…


How is an eagle offensive to Serbia?


And this is exactly what i was talking about…football mixed with politics results to discontent which i see on my post. Football is an escape from all the problems. I am sure if we encourage this kind of behaviour ,every country will find an fault in opposition country and football would turn into the game of political statements !


The World Cup is being played in Russia, the stadiums are built by kleptocrats and Chechnya is run by a psychopath who is using this opportunity (naturally enough) to legitimise his position. Exactly why Putin bought the hosting rights. Kosovo could not play as an independent nation because Serbia, Russia et al would not recognise it. That is political. While Serbia claimed Kosovo as Serbia they did not ask Albanians to play for Serbia. Every country decides who can be a national and that is political. If you want to get rid of politics get rid of FIFA. Looking forward… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

Who get’s to escape? Who doesn’t? I’m Korean, but I’m not naive–FIFA makes sure we’re included by keeping us limited to a pool where the main wildcard is whether China will ever decide to kick the ball or not.

My country is in the World Cup because we represent an uncontested slice of the world market. Politics.

This aint the Olympics, and it’s nothing nearly so ideologically pure and peaceful.

This is the Roman Coliseum at its finest, and don’t pretend it’s anything else.


@cyprus the immortal gunner. lets get this straight. i said what i said and your reply is based on assumptions about me and my ignorance. you dont know me. i actually wouldn’t mind. so stop with the condescending tone and victimhood attitude. i support what xhaka and shaqiri did. youve yet to put forward a sensical reason why you dont.


So Serbs displaced over 1.2 million Kosovo Albanians, including the families of these two, and a couple of Albanian guys making hand gestures in support of their displaced people is ‘offensive‘?

Boo fucking hoo.


Cyprus TIG, I mean…if that offensive display was a hand gesture of the flag of Cyprus…then yeah…I’d say its a perfectly acceptable form of expression. I’m fairly sure the Queen wouldn’t get upset. C’mon man…its not like these guys squatted down and took a shit on a Serbian flag….they made an eagle gesture with their hands. Don’t get it fuckin twisted man.


If somebody feels like sticking it to the Serbians for perceived injustices, I would think it’s far preferable that they do so by kicking the ball and not, you know, by a terror campaign.

Free speech

No politics… Just expressing their identity. If Serbs are offended by the Albanian eagle.. That’s their problem.

Jack Action

Imagine if Pique after scoring a goal for Spain lifted his shirt and he was wearing a shirt with a Basque separatist slogan. Then what would have been a great moment for his team would have been hijacked by a political dispute. There are a million examples. Sports should be that one place where we can all come together and put aside political differences and ethnic tribalism for just a few hours a week. Instead these two “Swiss” players chose to make their goals a statement about Kosovo. If I were Swiss I’d be wondering if these guys are Albanian… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

Or maybe you could identify as Swiss-Albanian, and this was a simple matter of showing love for both?

The kind of B.S. where we assume people can only love one nation should be left in the 20th century, where it belongs.


oh fuck off FIFA

Jack but

All the Same, my support rest with xhaka


Before they start investigating individual players, perhaps FIFA should look at organisations that award major football tournaments to countries with appalling human rights records…

Auba ma Ying

Yeah, I agree Israel should never have played in those previous tournaments. Shocking.

Lord Bendnter

Just to clarify, one of Shaqiris boots had the Swiss flag while the other had the Albanian New York times wrote a good piece on this issue: Although, I agree the best and most professional thing is to keep away from such controversies as players, and such sporting events should not be a place for political statements by anyone, there are some things that are so personal to you that you can’t help letting your emotions take over. I don’t think a two game ban is necessary; instead, both players should just be fined. And mind you, it was… Read more »


One of the most well rounded comments in this thread – from TGSTEL nonetheless

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

If you are NBA champion and have to go show your trophy to a guy who separate babies from their mothers and put children in cages, you will have to make a political statement.

Lord Bendnter

Regardless of your point, as soon as you allow one team or player to showcase a political statement, you are allowing everyone the right to showcase their statements. Eventually, it will get messy (not Messi)


I thought it was Obama who came up with that policy


Even if in jest I must point out that is soundly false.


They don’t have to. In fact they’re not going to.


Most of the people commenting (and thumb up/downing) here don’t know shit about the matter including you. Im gonna keep this short, cause i dont want to get deep into argument of whos right or whos wrong, i just want to show you you dont know even the things you consider facts. First the flag on the boot, is NOT albanian, its the republic of kosovo, which is above albania, formerly (or currently, depending of your view (and it is still just a view) part of serbia. The 2 headed eagle hand sign is not really representing albanian flag as… Read more »




“and you, the brittish, based on your conquests aren’t really to judge”

Let me get this straight… hundreds of years ago, a nation’s rulers made decisions to establish colonies or empires, therefore today people on a message board that had little direct influence on the establishment of said empires wouldn’t have the right to an opinion?


you can have an opinion alright, but at least u could try to educate yourself on the matter, and not seeing thing as black and white as well as prejudice like “serbs are vandals and animals”, “albanians are poor oppressed little sweethearts” or “brittish are tea-sipping, motivated by ruling the world and entitled assholes” (none of which are true, except maybe tea-sipping part, idk u tell me). it kinda proves my point, since i assume you read my entire comment to get to that mark, which i made to emphasize that you shouldnt judge lightly, you dont give a fuck… Read more »

Billy Enfield

You know your history in an excellent itemised details.
What were you smoking at the time???


WHAT A GOAL THOUGH! I was a few meters from him when he struck it. Sweetest strike I’ve ever seen, absolute meteorite. It opened up for him for a split second and in a flash the ball hit the net. Total goosebump moment. After the unreal abuse he was getting from the opposition fans (imagine London derby x10), I flipped shit, so I can only imagine how he felt.

Jack but



FIFA needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Before this latest farce didn’t they fine a country more for a cat walking on the pitch than Russia’s racist fans during the Europa league?

If 20,000 people were chanting “kill the [insert ethnicity here]” and I scored against them, I think I’d celebrate my independence too. Absolute joke.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Well since UK sanctioned the bombings against Yugislavia and most of you choose to know half the story, it’s no surprise that most of you would support Xhaka. The stupid thing though is that he was not playing for his home country against Serbia but he chose to play in another national team and on that night he was playing for Switzerland and not Albania. That was stupid and unnecessary and you can down vote with your hearts out and I would be happy to get as many downvotes as possible…ignorance in its fullest…


You’re such a fool. Because Xhaka plays for Switzerland he can’t honour his heritage and his roots? He was born in Switzerland! It doesn’t mean he can’t have an ethnic and cultural identity. So are you saying the English and French players of African heritage shouldn’t honour theirs? What if they were getting racist chants from the opposition fans, as Xhaka was getting sectarian chants? What if the opposing nation is literally the one whose military committed atrocities against their own people, against their own *families*? Is it still so unacceptable to make a simple gesture representing the flag of… Read more »

Billy Enfield

Dude. Give it a Effing rest. Why are you so hotly and passionate against Xhaka? What has he done to you?
He made an eagle sign!
Why have you taken it so personally? I’d have understood
if your name was Serbian Imortal etc.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Btw Arseblog I’m sure a lot of Arsenal and Arseblog Serbian fans would have similar stories about killings and burning houses.
Making excuses for Xhaka was unnecessary as was his actions…


A double headed eagle is only offensive if you are offended by the nation. That’s the problem with the Serb attitude to Kosovar nationalism. If a Serb wants to complain to me about war crimes committed against Serbs I’m all ears, every Balkan people has suffered that. If you want to complain about Kosovo then take a walk.


Pedro I guess you know all about how Albanians populated Kosovo after WW2 and are now doing the same with Macedonia?


North Macedonia? Stories of foreign hordes are medieval bullshit. Jugoslavs can’t play nice together.


What hordes?
I have friends from Macedonia and some parts of it are majority Albanians.
If it were up to me, I would go back to Yugoslavia days. However all sides let their retarded nationalist pride take over and it led the Balkans to where it is now.
Im still waiting to meet a non nationalist Albanian tho.


And I am waiting to meet a Serb who doesn’t have an unwarranted victim complex and revanchist ideas but thats hardly scientific polling. I think we’ve both made our points and should give it a rest now.

A Different George

Pedro, I do know some Serbs who don’t have either a victim complex or revanchist ideas. But they prove your point: they think most people in their country are so poisoned by this that it’s like a mass psychosis.


Pedro, I respect your opinion and your wait is over. I’m right here. No victim complex, I do realize that my shitty government did bad things in the region and agree that we should take full responsibility for those actions. On the other hand, many times the other parties got nothing more than a slap on the wrist for what they did and that doesn’t fly well with “less reasonable” Serbian folk.

Im out, peace!


Well you didnt see Mitrovic doing anything inappropriate after scoring. And for the record, Shaquiri had Kosovo flag on his boot, no tne Albanian one and that will rub the Serbians bad.
Point is, non balkan folks should really not be so quick to judge anyone as your knowledge of the situation is purely one sided and shaped from western media. As a Serbian I am ashamed of the things our government did in the past but I can assure you that the other side are not exactly peaches and I will leave it at that.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

That’s great Arseblog! I wouldn’t have thought that you were against the freedom of speech kind of guy…you have blocked my posts that were carefully written. Why is that?


Sometimes, liberalism is enforced.


It should be. World would be a much better place.


We haven’t blocked any posts. As all your posts on this thread show.


Haha let them get it out all in one post so we can get back on track.


Yeah. They deny your people’s right to self-determination, jail your father for years on some trumped up political bullshit charges, make you move to another country and tell you you that you deserve to burn to death. I score against their soccer team – probably the single most cathartic moment in Xhaka’s life – and I’m supposed to do what? Dab?

Well done to Granit for showing enough restraint not to transform into an eagle right there and then.


Lobser, things in the balkans were never black and white as most of the western media portraits them to be. Serbia is bad, everyone else is peachy. BS. While Serba did some pretty shitty things, they were not in alone. Check your history books, Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia – not Albania. Meaning, many non Albanians lived there. Over the years Albanians started taking over that region and dumb ass Yugoslavian and later Serbian government fucked it up letting the situation escalate to huge proportions. Try going to Kosovo with a Serbian shirt or a hat, not gonna happen. They… Read more »


Oh come on, the Serbs committed genocide against Kosovar Albanians and you wonder why they might express some nationalist tendencies? Fuck me. This is why we can’t have nice things.


Pedro Serbian people started fleeing from Kosovo in early 1980s due to massive Albanians moving there. They bought houses of Serbian population, those that would not sell were forced out. Of course the government and the military reacted making a hot pile of shit in years to come.

Fun fact moment, how do you think these Albanians got the money to buy the houses of Serbians?


Albanians have been the majority in Kosovo for 100 years at least. Unless you want to dig Tito up and start again Kosovo is an independent nation.


Not majority, the Serbian exodus started right around the time Tito died which is early 1980s.

BTW, the reason Serbians are passionate about Kosovo is the fact that is the place of the famous battle versus Ottoman Empire but that’s going far to XIV century…

Kosovo is independent and should be independent now. But the fact remains that in the end, it was Serbian people who were forced out, the Albanians remained there burning down and destroying all Serbian like monasteries, churches, monuments etc…I doubt anyone would wanna live there tbh.

Crash Fistfight

How big were these Albanians, exactly?

Billy Enfield

Srbistuta. Albanians are ethnics in Kosovo and you and all Serbians know that fact. The only ppl that have moved in with time in Kosovo is the Serbs. You either twist the history on purpose to manipulate people’s opinion or you really don’t know the history. Albania (borders) was chopped and changed 3 times. 1913, 1915 and 1918 where the fatal blow was given by leaving out of Albania borders about of 60% of Albanian land. That was to please Serbia (which aimed To create the Great Serbia) and big brother – Russia. Then, the big Powers like GB, Turkey,… Read more »


I agree that behind every war lies a messy and complicated history that no one person, group, organisation or textbook is able to give a complete picture of. But I am also cognizant of the reasons why a person in Xhaka’s situation would, and I believe is completely entitled to, react in the way that he did. In the same way, nationalism is also not a black and white issue. I would like to think that nationalism is justified or even desirable in a people who have gone through what the Kosovan folk have had to assert the existence of… Read more »

Billy Enfield

All Albanians were non-nationalists…
Until Serbia decided that Adolf Hitler needed to come back in modern Europe!
Albanians still are non-nationalists with everyone else (including Greeks, Turks, or Italians)…
They only get hot blooded with Serbia!


Can’t thumb you up enough Lobster. Perfect celebration in this situation. Gentleman’s FU


A dick move by both players. I am surprised the Swiss FA allows them to wear boots with flags of other nations on them and takes no action to stop these kind of celebrations. Ban sounds fine to me.

Arsenal Pakistan!

100% support Xhaka and Fifa would be well advised to ban the provocations by the Serbian fans rather than the reaction. BBC says fifa are looking to ban over the celebrations being provocative or offensive. I don’t think an eagle symbol is either of those. Also hilarious and ironic that after abusing Xhaka and Shaqiri throughout the match, the Serbians are so butthurt about their celebrations. Like someone else here posted too ‘there is little sadder than the aggressor playing the victim.’

Billy Enfield

LOL. Good to see someone with sense of justice and humour at the same time. Hat off to you sir.
Ps. Serbs are like: they beat the hell out of you and as
you’re recovering in coma in hospital, they’ll sue you for cracking the bones of their hands.
Talking of playing the victim


There is absolutely a severe lack of professionalism and neglect of responsibility in that gesture. There’s so much more to it than what they claim. Although difficult to understand for those not connected to it. The conflict in Kosovo has brought so much suffering. On both sides, which is often overlooked. The fact that the Serbian players didn’t react at all and stayed professional isn’t given enough credit in my opinion. As for the behaviour of a large part Serbian fans, there is no excuse. However the players carry an extra burden of responsibility as role models. Just have a… Read more »

Billy Enfield

I like the fact that your long post was dedicated entirely to how wrong Xhaka and Shaqiri were, but you only stop very briefly on Serbian fans that kept shouting all along the match “Death/Kill the Albanians”….
Not elephant in the room at all, is there???


Lets get to the point. Banning any political display in football is unambiguously a highly-charged political act in itself. Sure there should be a line, but it is drawn far from what Xhaka and Shaqiri did. They should not be punished. And there is no way they would have not done it either way. Its political only to those its not personal to.


National teams are political by definition. FIFA can fuck right off, an eagle symbol is less offensive than Salah parading about with Kadyrov. Them taking a position aligned with the Russian perspective is as surprising as the Russian security forces solving their hooligan problem but missing the Serb political statements in the crowd.

Public Elneny

FIFA can fuck off with their banning of political statements.

Any political controversy makes Fifa’s products slightly less attractive to potential advertisers (oh boo fucking hoo). This, of course, needs to be rectified by banning the offending players, compromising the sporting integrity of the tournament. Money above all else!

Besides, Infantino, his predecessors and colleagues are constantly broadcast associating with various heads of state, therefore effectively endorsing them.


Or FIFA can just fuck off in general


This comment section shows why FIFA are correct. Football shouldn’t be about heated arguments over the minutiae of Balkan history. Someone brought up apartheid South Africa being banned, the obvious difference being in that case there was near unanimity of opinion. The situation with the Balkans is actually very far from being black and white; if you want some idea just look up what Noam Chomsky has said about Yugoslavia, for example. In this case FIFA are 100% correct to crack down on this sort of thing.


Regardless of whether you agree with a position or not, political statements should not be made at sporting events. You can’t only allow the ones you agree with, so it’s all or nothing. If FIFA bans for political statements, then they should been these two players.
Given Xhaka’s family history, I understand why he did what he did. I cannot say I would have reacted differently, but it still is an action that is not allowed.


the closest i can come to comparing this to something of british context would be if messi and aguero celebrated strangely with a falklands flag on their boots.

would I be incensed?
i would laugh and ultimately not give too much of a toss.
I know its not exactly the same but i dont think a ban is necessary.
though fifa cant be seen to be bending the rules, the serbian attack on fifa might help xhaka and the swiz


The Argentines regularly support the Malvinas return to Argentina. Never heard a peep from FIFA oddly enough.


To be fair, for a statement close to the UK yo just have to look at the treatment James McLean gets for not wearing a poppy

Jean Ralphio

Both players said it wasn’t political and I think FIFA dishing out bans could make it worse.


I love how organizations like FIFA promote tolerance by making sure nobody ever has to actually tolerate something they don’t like, not even for a 10-second goal celebration.


England won!


6-1 no less

Arse City Blues

Shut the fuck up you nationalist scum!!

My tongue is firmly wedged in my cheek.

Meat The Goonah

People from Kosovo who want independence are Muslims and there are almost two thousand (2000) orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo, built by Serbians of course, two, three, four centuries ago all the way to 14th.

How do you like them apples?

Billy Enfield

LOL. How come Serbians built churches and monasteries in on 14-th century in Kosovo when Kosovo as name did Not exist, because it was Albania? If you’re suggesting that Serbians were feeling in generous mood and went and built those churches, well done to them! It’s very charitable of them!
Plus, why is this general misconception, that Kosovo and Albania is all Muslim? It’s only 60% not all.
Talking of Christians, Goonah…
Albania is full of churches and monasteries too? Any chance of Serbia claiming that country too?
Reminds you of Harry Kane claims the goal?


Is there a chance Switzerland will boycott if these two are banned?


Switzerland are fucked if they are banned


Please, inform yourselves before you accuse whole nation for something that you, apparently, know soooo little about. No one loves to talk about politics on a page of a club we all here love and support, but this level of ignorant coments and accusation based on false facts are just too much. If you want to go deeper in this subject, please look into Boris Malagurski ”Kosovo : A Moment in Civilisation”, documentary. That should be very informative for all you all knowing, wiki readers. COYG!


The Serbian director who organized protests in Vancouver against Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo’s movement for independence? That sounds a bit like a one sided viewpoint.


First I thought fuck FIFA. Then I read the comments in this post. Now I think FIFA is right, this shit had no place in football.


I thought it was a “W” for Wenger. But again, why should Shakiri do that too?


It’s definitely political. Shame that Granit cannot man up and admit it.


It’s not about ‘manning up’ it’s about getting on with things afterward. He made his point briefly and in my opinion relatively harmlessly to opposition fans who had been harassing him all match because of his ethnicity and family past, and now it’s time to move on. If he were to come out and make it a major political issue that would be stupid.


Granit was heckled by the Serbian supporters and he responded in his celebration. In hindsight he probably shouldn’t have, but the fans should have conducted themselves better imho.


Sure really stamp down on this but allow players to dive and cheat all the time. Clearly the powers that be at FIFA are not listening to the fans… we dont want politics and sport to mix, but we also dont want the game dominated by the diving and so forth that goes on.
I mean to allow Neymar to dive like he did and give nothing, then couple minutes later he smacks ball with his fist in frustration he cops a yellow. Talk about wrong priorities in the sport.


Out of curiosity (and I beg pardon for my ignorance), how is support for the Arsenal in Serbia?


Well you can shut down the comments, but you can’t shut down the conversation.

Fantastic decision by FIFA not to ban the 2, all things considered!

But I do wonder if they’ve now set themselves a tricky precedent.

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