Kosovo-Tied Swiss Players Criticized For Albania Gesture At World Cup Game

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Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner have avoided bans for their "double eagle gesture" goal celebrations in their side's World Cup win over Serbia.

Xhaka scored a second-half equalizer, and Shaqiri scored the 90th-minute victor - and both celebrated with the two-headed eagle gesture.

Under FIFA rules, this is deemed as provocative and political, and FIFA have since opened disciplinary proceedings against the duo.

Gillieron said he expected a quick decision from FIFA's judicial body, and the country could be proud of a team which has four points from two games.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, less than a decade after the 1998-99 war between ethnic Albanian guerillas and Serb forces, but Belgrade - backed by its traditional ally Russian Federation - still refuses to recognise the move.

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, while Xhaka's parents are originally from Kosovo.

His father was a political prisoner following the 1968 student demonstations in Yugoslavia against the communist government in Belgrade.

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Two stars of Switzerland's World Cup team were fined by the tournament organizers on Monday for celebrating goals against Serbia last week with a gesture that honored their roots in Kosovo, the former Serbian province. Maybe there were situations like this, like the one [between Serbia and Switzerland], where the referee should have chose to at least see it, but it's in their hands. The Kosovo War ended in 1999 and independence from Serbia was declared in 2008.

The Serbian FA was also fined 54,000 Swiss francs for the behaviour of fans during the game - they displayed discriminatory banners and messages and threw objects.

Krstajic had said German referee Felix Brych should be sent to the Hague, while Kokeza suggested he had been biased towards Switzerland.

Switzerland needs to win or draw with Costa Rica on Wednesday to be sure of qualifying.

When asked about his celebration Shaqiri said, 'It's just emotion. Shaqiri was more terse: "I do not play politics, I play football", he said.

Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic ripped Shaqiri, saying, "If he loves Kosovo so much and decides to flaunt the flag, why did he refuse a chance to play for their team?"

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