Fifa opened disciplinary proceedings against Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri on Saturday over their pro-Kosovo goal celebrations during the match against Serbia.
Association football’s governing body is also probing Serbian national team manager Mladen Krstajic for alleged statements made after Friday’s game. Disciplinary proceedings have also been opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbances and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans, world football’s governing body said in a statement.
“The Fifa Disciplinary Committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their goal celebration during the match Switzerland vs. Serbia. 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. 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.”
Serbian papers slammed what they labelled “shameful provocation” by two Switzerland players of Kosovo origin who used political gestures to celebrate their goals in the 2-1 World Cup victory.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s last minute winner capped an impressive comeback for the Swiss in Kaliningrad on Friday after Granit Xhaka levelled following Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener. Shaqiri said in a post-match interview his celebration was “just emotion” but added he was not allowed to talk about politics.
The Serbian football association reportedly complained to world football’s governing body Fifa about the Kosovo flag that adorned one of Shaqiri’s boots.
“We sought that he change the boots. It was a provocation, we were playing against Switzerland, not Kosovo,” team official Jovan Surbatovic told Serbian state-run broadcaster RTS.
(With inputs from AFP)