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Arsenal star could face FIFA investigation as shirt controversy overshadows World Cup win

Rory O'Callaghan

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| Last updated 

Arsenal star could face FIFA investigation as shirt controversy overshadows World Cup win

Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka could reportedly face a FIFA investigation following his side's victory over Serbia at the World Cup.

Switzerland booked their place in the last 16 of the competition with a 3-2 win on Friday.

After Aleksandar Mitrovic had cancelled out Xherdan Shaqiri's opener for Switzerland, Serbia then took the lead through Dusan Vlahovic.

But goals either side of half-time from Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler secured victory for Switzerland, who will now face Portugal in the round of 16 – with Serbia exiting the tournament.

Around an hour into the match, Arsenal midfielder Xhaka angered the Serbian bench after appearing to grab his crotch in their direction.

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The gesture prompted several Serbian players to run onto the pitch and confront Xhaka, who was booked by the referee.

After full-time, Xhaka was involved in another controversial moment after he was seen wearing a shirt with the name 'Jashari' on the back.

Asked afterwards what it meant, Xhaka claimed there was no "political background to it whatsoever" - stating it was for his Switzerland teammate Ardon Jashari.

However, it is also the surname of Adem Jashari - a founder of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a Kosovo Albanian separatist group that fought for independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Xhaka and his Swiss teammate Shaqiri are both of ethnic Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Xhaka captained Switzerland to victory over Serbia at the World Cup (Image: Alamy)
Xhaka captained Switzerland to victory over Serbia at the World Cup (Image: Alamy)

It is the not the first time Xhaka has been involved in a controversial incident against Serbia.

Both he and Shaqiri were fined by FIFA in 2018 for make an eagle gesture, associated with Albania, after scoring against Serbia at the World Cup in Russia.

Xhaka potentially facing FIFA investigation

PA, as reported by the Daily Express, have indicated that Xhaka could now be the subject of a FIFA investigation over his latest gesture.

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin said he will "wait and see" if action is taken against Xhaka.

"We will enjoy this moment, it cost us a lot of emotions and energy. It was a fair match," he said.

"Before the game a lot of people were talking about the situation but we were able to face that challenge.

"We are happy we are moving on. Everything else is speculation and we will wait and see."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Arsenal, Switzerland, Granit Xhaka, Serbia, Football World Cup

Rory O'Callaghan
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