What was the hand gesture made by the Swiss goal scorers?
26 June, 2018, 03:52 | Author: Anita Tucker
They were rewarded in the 51st minute when Xherden Shaqiri's attempt was blocked and the ball rebounded to Arsenal'sGranit Xhaka, who rasped his shot home from outside the box to tie the contest at 1-1.
As he wheeled away in celebration, the Kosovo-born playmaker crossed his hands to imitate an eagle, which appears on Albania's flag, prompting reporters to ask whether the gesture was a statement in light of Serbia's failure to recognise his birthplace as an independent state.
When Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic was questioned about the gestures, he said: "I can only repeat what I already said yesterday - you should never mix politics and football". "We are wondering why Serbia is the only team at the World Cup with the referee who would not even check the replay of the disputable situations, and all to the detriment of our team".
Having trailed to an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal at half-time, Switzerland were much improved after the break and deservedly pulled off a turnaround victory thanks to a Granit Xhaka wonder goal and Shaqiri's coolly taken late strike. Stoke City'sXherdan Shaqiri later scored a stoppage time victor to send the Swiss second in Group E, behind Brazil.
Kosovo, an ethnically Albanian province, fought a war of independence against the Serb-dominated Yugoslav forces in the late 1990s. Replying to the criticism about the celebration, Xhaka said that it was for the people, his supporter, his homeland, and for his parent's root, and claimed that the celebration was purely emotional.
Made Albanians proud. Both refugees because of Serbia but they kept their faith and traditions! You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal.
Federation Internationale de Football Association said Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner also faces disciplinary proceedings for also making the gesture during the match. In the decisive third game, Serbia and Brazil will play in Moscow at the same time that Costa Rica and Switzerland meet in Nizhny Novgorod.
The Swiss will progress if they draw with Costa Rica in their final Group E match while Serbia now need something against Brazil.
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