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World Cup 2018: Shaqiri and Xhaka to be sanctioned

World Cup 2018: Shaqiri and Xhaka to be sanctioned by FIFA for goal celebrations

June 23, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Trouble seems to be looming for the Swiss pair.

Both Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka could soon face the full wrath of world football's governing body after disciplinary proceedings were opened against them. The players completed Switzerland's 2-1 comeback win over Serbia by scoring in succession and produced the same goal controversial celebration.

Being of Albanian and Kosovo descent, both Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated their goals by imitating the eagle emblem on the Albanian flag. The gesture risked causing an uproar and raising tensions among the Serbs and the Albanians, with the former refusing to acknowledge the independence of Kosovo.

As a result, FIFA released a statement on Saturday condemning the acts of both Switzerland players as they believe the gestures carry a strong political message.

The statement read: "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."

It remains unclear the extent of punishment being lined up but both Xhaka and Shaqiri risk being banned from Switzerland's final and crucial group game with Costa Rica.

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