Switzerland duo Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka could face a two match ban for their 'eagle' gestures during their 2-1 win against Serbia on Friday.
Both players scored in the win and both made the eagle sign with their hands in their celebrations, a reference to the Albanian flag, both come from ethnic Albanian heritage. Shaqiri also displayed the Kosovo flag on his socks, the Stoke player was born in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Xhaka's parents are originally from Kosovo and they are of Albanian heritage. His brother Taulant plays for Albania's national team. These gestures are likely to enflame Serbian nationalist who do not recognise Kosovo as a republic.
The Football Association of Serbia secretary general Jovan Šurbatović has revealed that Serbia will file a complaint to FIFA about their politically charged actions as well as the referee's decision not to award a penalty when Aleksander Mitrovic was hauled to the floor by two Switzerland defenders during the game:
We think we were roughly injured in the 66th minute and we're sure to file a Fifa appeal.
But that controversial detail in the 66th minute is not the only reason we will write Fifa. This is the case of the (Shaqiri's) boots, it is a question of several controversial flags and it is the celebration of both goals for Switzerland.
In Article 54 of FIFA's disciplinary code does outlaw what is defined as “Anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of €5000."
After the game both managers tried to downplay the actions of the players, Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic stating "I don't have any comments. I don't deal with these things. I am a man of sports, and this is what I'm going to stay being".
Swiss boss Vladimir Petkovic argued that "you should never mix politics and football. You should always show respect,'' saying it was "a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about."