Switzerland's Xhaka, Shaqiri may face ban for celebration vs Serbia

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Serbia is challened by Manuel Akanji of Switzerland during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium

The Serbian football association have appealed to FIFA over referee Felix Brych's officiating during the their 2-1 defeat to Switzerland on Friday.

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.

Kosovo only got FIFA approval in 2016 but before then, the country's football authorities had tried to get Shaqiri, Behrami and Xhaka to play for them.

The victory puts Switzerland in a strong position to qualify from Group E following their 1-1 draw with five-time champions Brazil. They had been attracting quite a lot of negative attention, including booing from the Serbian fans.

The online version of the Serbian newspaper Blic wrote on June 23 that the gesture "shamefully provoked our fans".

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"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", the governing body said in a statement.

If found guilty, both players will be unavailable for the final group game and any potential round of 16 tie that Switzerland would face.

Xhaka's father was once jailed for campaigning for Kosovan independence, forcing the Arsenal star and his family to flee the Balkans, while Stoke's Shaqiri was born in Kosovo.

Newcastle striker Mitrovic, so impressive on loan at Fulham last season, was aggrieved that Serbia were not awarded a penalty in the 66th minute after he was caught in a tangle with Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar.

"It was good. Why not?"

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"It would be a hammerblow if they were to be suspended", he said.

"The war between them was so hard".

"We expect FIFA to impose sanctions against the players who acted against rules of FIFA and fair play, as well as against the national association of the country they play for". This is more than football because they have this period, this war that gave them both big problems. "I told them I would not be content with a draw". "There was also big provocation ahead of the game from them [Serbia], so I think it's normal".

Both are among the players in the Switzerland team who have links to Kosovo - Shaqiri wears boots with the Kosovo flag displayed on one heel and the Swiss one on the other.

"I have no doubt that you can feel patriotic emotions for the land which has taken you in without forgetting your roots", he said.

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"But that controversial detail in the 66th minute is not the only reason we will write to Federation Internationale de Football Association".

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