THE ALBANIAN ADLER celebration previously caused outrage when it was performed by current Swiss squad members Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.
But what does the gesture mean as the Swiss prepare to face Cameroon in their opening game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?
What is the Albanian eagle?
Both Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated their goals for Switzerland in the 2-1 win over Serbia by making the nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.
Players put their open hands together to look like a double-headed eagle – like the one depicted on the Albanian flag.
Shaqiri also wore boots with the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo and was jeered by Serbian fans throughout the game.
And German-Albanian defender Shkodran Mustafi repeated the celebration in solidarity with the players in Arsenal’s win in Cardiff.
Why is it controversial?
FIFA is being pressured by Serbia to charge the scorers for their celebrations – and they are demanding a two-game ban laid down in FIFA regulations.
Shaqiri was born in Kosovo (a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008).
Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence and relations remain strained as many families choose to move to other European countries, including Switzerland.
What did Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka say about the gesture?
Speaking to reporters after the game, Shaqiri said: “You can see what I did and I think it’s just emotion. I am very happy about this goal. It was nothing more. I don’t think we need to talk about that now.”
Xhaka, said: “To be honest, my opponents didn’t interest me at all.
“It was for my people who have always supported me. For those who have not neglected me, in my homeland, where my parents’ roots lie. Those were pure emotions.”
Were Xhaka and Shaqiri punished for celebrating?
Xhaka and Shaqiri have been fined £7,630 each for the Albanian eagle celebration, which Fifa has described as “unsportsmanlike conduct”.
However, they escaped a ban on “provocative gestures” that the Serbian Football Union was demanding.
Captain Stefan Lichtsteiner was also fined £3,824 for making the gesture after Shaqiri’s winner.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/3204251/albanian-eagle-celebration-switzerland-spain-xhaka-shaqiri/ What is the Albanian Eagle Celebration and which players have used it before?