Albanian-Muslim inspired gesture by Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri towards Serbia sparks huge Controversies

Switzerland goalscorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri both celebrated with the Albanian Eagle symbol against Serbia.


Xhaka’s stunning equaliser cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener, and Shaqiri’s late winner completed Switzerland’s dramatic 2-1 comeback victory over the Serbs.

However, the Swiss pair raised questions by making a reference to their Kosovo-Albanian roots as they wheeled away.

Kosovo is a disputed territory that declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

Xhaka’s Kosovo-Albanian father Ragip participated in demonstrations against the Communist Yugoslavia rule in Serbia and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

The Arsenal midfielder’s parents moved to Switzerland before he was born, although his brother Taulant still plays his international football for Albania.

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo when it was part of the former Yugoslavia and emigrated to Switzerland in 1992 with his parents and three siblings.

Tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb communities culminated in the Kosovo War of 1998 and 1999.

Their hand gestures replicated the two-headed eagle which features on the Albanian flag.




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