Federation Internationale de Football Association open disciplinary proceedings against Stephan Lichtsteiner after celebrations against Serbia

27 June, 2018, 06:30 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri training with the Swiss team

Xhaka and Shaqiri made hand gestures of a two-headed eagle after scoring second-half goals, and Lichtsteiner joined in the celebration.

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.

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.

"We have always displayed pride as a defence mechanism, not really as something to poke into somebody's eye", said Ely Lokku, an ethnic Albanian originally from Macedonia who now lives in Toronto.

Meanwhile, FIFA fined the Serbian football federation $54,700 for incidents involving its fans at the same game in a separate ruling Monday.

A day after being put under investigation by FIFA for complaining about the refereeing of their 2-1 World Cup loss to Switzerland and misbehavior by fans, Serbia's football association has filed an official complaint with the sport's governing body alleging "biased officiating" by referee Feliz Brych.

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While Kosovo are recognised by UEFA, Serbia do not view them as an independent state, something which has left the relationship between the two countries strained.

On Saturday, Fifa confirmed its disciplinary committee had opened proceedings against Xhaka and Shaqiri, adding: "In relation to the same match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans".

"I have no doubt that you can feel patriotic emotions for the land which has taken you in without forgetting your roots", he said. 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.

Many political elements surrounded the win over Serbia on Friday, although Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic seemed to deny reality in his comments after the match.

Switzerland face Costa Rica in their final Group E fixture on Wednesday requiring a point to qualify for the last 16. "We had to play better too, we should not be looking for a problem elsewhere, but for sure - the referee destroyed us". Brazil advances with a win or a draw.


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