Federation Internationale de Football Association opens case against Shaqiri & Xhaka over controversial eagle celebrations

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Two Swiss government ministers have backed national team players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri after their controversial goal celebrations in Friday's 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia.

Switzerland captain Lichtsteiner, a new signing for Arsenal, made the gesture after Shaqiri's 90th-minute victor.

"Furthermore, a preliminary investigation has been opened against the coach of the Serbian national team, Mladen Krstajic, for alleged statements made in the aftermath of the said match".

Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22, 2018, in Kaliningrad, Russia.

It turns out that while both the players grew up in Switzerland, they have ethnic Albanian heritage.

Check out the brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod hosted by Dion Fanning and Paddy McKenna featuring Roy Keane's advice to England, Panama like to shithouse and Cristiano Ronaldo ain't going nowhere. "This is a victory for my family, for Switzerland, Albania, Kosovo".

The Serbian press meanwhile called Shaqiri's goal celebration "shameful provocation".

26-year-old Shaqiri, who plays for Stoke City, said after the match that "it's just emotion" when he was quizzed about the way he celebrated.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, less than a decade after the 1998-1999 war between ethnic Albanian guerrillas and Serb forces, but Belgrade - backed by its traditional ally Russian Federation - still refuses to recognise the move. A win or a draw will put them through to the round of 16.

Shaqiri said: "It's nothing to do with politics, it's about football".

Xhaka and Shaqiri are both ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in war in 1999 and declared independence nearly a decade later but is not recognised by Serbia.

The Serbian football association had also reportedly complained to FIFA before the game about the Kosovo flag that adorned one of Shaqiri's boots. "I think that's something that was expected already more than 10 years ago in football, and I don't know why they waited for so long, but it's refreshing to see it".

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