Xherdan Shaqiri

Kosovo-Born Shaqiri Denies Political Message in His Gestures Towards Serbia Team

© REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes
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Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland’s national team repeatedly made a gesture that resembled Albania’s Eagle after each goal the team scored against their Serbian adversaries.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, two Switzerland players, both having Albanian roots, have been captured repeatedly making a specific gesture — crossing their palms on their chest to resemble an eagle from an Albanian flag. While Xhaka was born in Switzerland to Albanian parents, Shaqiri was born in Kosovo (which Serbia considers its territory), also to Albanian parents.

However, after the game, Shaqiri told journalist that there was no political message in his gestures.

"I don't want to give it much attention. When you score a goal, emotions always take the better of you, so I haven't put anything special in this gesture," he told reporters.

"As for our performance at the World Cup, we go on well, one step after another," he added.

In additon to this, the head of the Serbian football union has expressed outrage over Shaqiri wearing boots with a Kosovar flag during the game.

"Before the game, we asked FIFA to forbid Shaqiri to play in boots with the flag of Kosovo. But the answer was that this is not a political gesture," the official said.

Switzerland national team scored a 2-1 victory against Serbia Friday in a game that took place in Kaliningrad. Shaqiri scored the final goal on 90-th minute, after which the cameras caught him going the infamous gesture.

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gesture, World Cup 2018, FIFA, Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Kosovo
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