The Swiss trio of Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner have been collectively fined over $25,000 by FIFA and warned over “unsporting behavior contrary to the principals of fair play,” following their celebrations in Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Serbia in their group stage match. Also Read - FIFA World Cup 2022 Organisers Hoping For More Indian Eyeballs Than Previous Edition
Both Shaqiri and Xhaka celebrated their goals on Friday by making a hand gesture mirroring the eagle on the Albanian flag, which can be considered to be a nationalist symbol linked to Kosovo and Albania and risks creating political tension with the Serbs, who do not recognise Kosovo’s independence, reports Xinhua news agency. Also Read - Pele Backs Kylian Mbappe to Become Best Player of His Generation, Says French Forward Can Emulate His Tally of 1000 Goals
The trip had been charged under Article 54 of FIFA’s disciplinary code which states “anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of 5,000 Swiss Francs ($5,063).”
In the end Shaqiri and Xhaka were fined 10,000 Swiss Francs ($10,126) each and Lichtsteiner 5,000 Francs ($5,063), but escaped a ban.
Meanwhile, the Serbian Football Federation were also fined 54,000 Swiss Francs ($54,681) for “discriminatory banners and messages by Serbian supporters as well as for throwing objects.”
The President of the Federation was fined a further 5,000 Francs (5,063) for an interview in which he said referees were “directed” by FIFA to oppose Serbia and team coach Mladen Krstijac.