Swiss duo's 'provocative' black eagle goal celebration 'mixes sport and politics'

It's the goal celebration that everyone is talking about at the World Cup, but not everyone is celebrating.
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri marked their goals in Switzerland's 2-1 win over Serbia in Kaliningrad on Friday by crossing their hands to make a double eagle gesture, widely interpreted as paying homage to Albania's flag.

"In football you have always emotions and you can see what I did and it's just emotion," Shaqiri told reporters, referring to his controversial celebration. "I'm very happy to score the goal, that's all."

Both Xhaka and Shaqiri have Kosovar heritage. Xhaka's father Ragip moved to Switzerland in the 1990s to escape the war in Kosovo, while the Arsenal midfielder's younger brother Taulant is an Albanian international. Shaqiri left when he was four years old.


Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years after the bloody conflict between Serb forces and Kosovar-Albanian rebels. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.
"My family had left Kosovo before the war broke out, when I was four years old, and they tried to make a life in Switzerland with me and my two brothers," Shaqiri wrote on the Players' Tribune website ahead of Friday's match.
"It was not easy. My father didn't speak Swiss German, so he had to start out washing dishes in a restaurant."
For the game against Serbia, Shaqiri also sported a pair of boots with the left displaying the Swiss flag and the right showing the Kosovo emblem.
"I feel that I have two homes,' continued Shaqiri in his personal essay for the Players' Tribune website. "It's that simple.
"Switzerland gave my family everything, and I try to give everything for the national team. But whenever I go to Kosovo, I immediately have the feeling of home, too. It is not something logical. It is just a feeling that I have in my gut.
"In 2012, when we played against Albania, I put the flags of Switzerland, Albania and Kosovo on my boots, and some of the Swiss newspapers were saying all kinds of negative things about it. I was criticized for it, but it's crazy to me that some people feel this way because it's simply my identity."
Swiss duo's 'provocative' black eagle goal celebration 'mixes sport and politics' Swiss duo's 'provocative' black eagle goal celebration 'mixes sport and politics' Reviewed by OnePiece Times on 1:34 PM Rating: 5

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