Switzerland snatched a 2-1 win against Serbia in the World Cup yesterday – but it’s the celebrations that have caused the biggest stir.
No penalty was given when striker Aleksandar Mitrović was clearly manhandled in the box by two Swiss defenders halfway through the second half – but this news has fallen secondary to the celebrations by two Swiss players.
No, this wasn’t the biggest controversy of the evening – that came when scorers Granit Xhaka – who equalised with a stunning strike – and Xherdan Shaqiri – who wrapped up the win late on – wheeled away in celebration with the same hand gesture, following Mitrovic’s opener.
The celebrations between the pair look like some harmless fun – a gesture which, perhaps, was some sort of inside joke.
Actually the celebration – known as the Albanian Eagle – has political connotations to it.
Football.London has now explained.
Some players in the Swiss squad have a dual nationality and tensions are still surface today between the two nations
Xhaka and Shaqiri have Kosovar-Albanian heritage and the Stoke City attacker once said: “I was born in Kosovo, but I grew up in Switzerland. I live both mentalities, it’s not a big difference.”
Xhaka is another with ties to another country.