Sports

FIFA Fines Swiss Players and Serbia For Unsporting Behaviour

FIFA Fines Swiss Players and Serbia For Unsporting Behaviour

In a statement FIFA said: "The FIFA disciplinary committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their goal celebration during the match Switzerland vs Serbia".

Xhaka and Shaqiri, who have ethnic Albanian heritage but grew up in Switzerland, put their open hands together with their thumbs locked and fingers outstretched to represent the double-headed eagle displayed on Albania's national flag.

Kokeza gave an interview to the BBC in which he accused Fifa, football's world governing body, of bias against his country.

Xhaka and Shaqiri's behavior divided opinions in Switzerland with some politicians defending them and others saying they felt their goals were scored by Kosovo rather than Switzerland.

Xhaka's father was a political prisoner in Yugoslavia for 3 1/2 years spent three and a half years as a political prisoner in Yugoslavia.

Serbian Football Association president Slavisa Kokeza and Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic were each fined 5,000 Swiss francs for comments they made after the match.

This is seen in Serbia as promoting the idea of a Greater Albania - a project that would see Albania's borders expanded to include parts of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Greece.

Serbia was furious when Brych failed to award a spot-kick in the 66th minute after Aleksandar Mitrovic was wrestled to the ground in the penalty area by Swiss defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schaer.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, less than a decade after the 1998-1999 war between ethnic Albanian guerrillas and Serb forces, but Belgrade - backed by its traditional ally Russian Federation - still refuses to recognise the move.

Serbia's FA was also fined £41,000 ($54,000) and given a warning "for the display of discriminatory banners and messages by Serbian supporters as well as for throwing objects during the match".

Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 in the Group E match.

Stoke City's Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and the Arsenal midfielder Xhaka was born to Albanian parents who were from Serbia.

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and plays with the Kosovan flag stitched into his boots. Shaqiri was more terse: "I do not play politics, I play football", he said.