On 22 June 2018, Switzerland won a comeback against Serbia - on the second day of Group E of the World Cup in Russia - thanks to the goals of Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka.
A victory that, in the end, gave the qualification to the round of XNUMX for the Swiss and, above all, an unforgettable evening for the Albanian fans scattered all over the world. This is thanks to Xhaka and Shaqiri, who exulted after their nets by mimicking the double-headed eagle of the Albanian flag.
Xhaka, marks for Switzerland with Albania in his heart, unleashing the enthusiasm of all Albanians ❤🇦🇱Xhaka shënon për Zvicrën por kuqezi në zemër #Kuqezi #ForcaShqipe
A gesture of love destined for their origins, for that Albanian identity that in Kosovo - where the parents of both footballers come from - has been discriminated against for almost a century by the governments of Belgrade. In all this time, the Albanians of Kosovo have suffered the worst violence: imprisoned, tortured, poisoned children, entire burned villages, families destroyed and forced to abandon their homes, the homeland and their ancestors, for the simple fact to be Albanian.
That's why those two mimed eagles on the Russian night of Kaliningrad represented not only two simple exultations but much more. A symbolic revenge towards those who made generations of Albanians suffer and a message of belonging to the history of a people: although at national level they represent another national (the one that welcomed and raised them), Xhaka and Shaqiri have never forgot their Albanian origins.
Exults sanctioned by FIFA
The exultations of the two footballers provoked reactions all over the world: on the one hand there were those who rightly supported the innocence of the gesture, while on the other a small part who claimed that it was a political provocation.
"For it was a really special day. I dedicate this victory to my family, to Switzerland, Albania and Kosovo; the gesture was addressed to all those who have always supported me, it was absolutely not addressed to the adversaries. " Said Xhaka at the end of the ninety minutes.
His national team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri also continued on the same line:
"It has nothing to do with politics. It is exclusively football. " - declared at the end of the match.
FIFA decided a few days after the match, to make everyone agree, to sanction the two players with a fine of 10.000 euros. A - albeit minimal - injustice towards Swiss nationals considering that in the past similar gestures had not created so much sensation and had not been sanctioned.
In 2015, when Kolarov scored the Serbian advantage during Albania-Serbia 0-2 played in Elbasan, many of his companions on the field cheered with the gesture of the 'three fingers'; a "typically Serbian gesture" - as tennis player Novak Djokovic has repeatedly stated at the press conference - which, however, went unnoticed in the eyes of UEFA and FIFA.
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