Sports

Federation Internationale de Football Association fine Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Xherdan Shaqiri

Federation Internationale de Football Association fine Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Xherdan Shaqiri

World football's governing body also opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbances and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans at the game.

With Serbia leading 1-0 courtesy of an Aleksandar Mitrovi's fifth-minute goal, Granit Shaka drew Switzerland level via a thunderous volley in the 51st minute, then the Arsenal midfielder celebrated with the symbol.

Socialist lawmaker Mathias Reynard agreed that "the two players also have roots, and it is quite normal that, in times of strong emotion, they want to pay tribute to them".

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.

Years of war in Balkans sent many families to western European countries, including Switzerland.

The Serbian media called Shaqiri's goal gesture "shameful provocation".

Serbia saw their lead evaporate in a fiery 2-1 defeat to Group E rivals Switzerland in Kaliningrad on Saturday (AEST). "I'd like to see that again. presumably Xhaka was not unhappy at not having scored against Albania", he said.

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After the match, Serbian boss Mladen Krstajic would not be drawn into the controversy.

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.

Shaqiri - whose 90th-minute victor sparked wild scenes of celebration - was born in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

Xhaka and Shaqiri are of Kosovar heritage and their celebrations greatly angered Serbia's FA, with their president condemning and claiming a "brutal robbery" had denied the Balkan side of a win last week .

Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic after the match reproached the players, saying that soccer and politics should "never mix".

"I think about this, I don't want to speak", said Shaqiri. 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.


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