Federation Internationale de Football Association investigates Shaqiri and Xhaka celebrations

Xherdan Shaqiri

Thousands of Kosovo Albanians trekked across Europe in the 1990s, fleeing rising ethnic tensions that culminated in a bloody 1998-99 war of independence between ethnic Albanians and Serb forces that left about 10,000 people dead.

In a statement released on Saturday night, FIFA said: '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 Serbian football association is also complaining about Shaqiri's boots, the goal celebrations and Albanian flags in the stands, they reported.

Provocative or proud? Xherdan Shaqiri makes the Albanian "crossed hands" symbol.

But some Serbians may have been more angered by how Shaqiri celebrated the goal than the fact he scored it.

"I think we don't have to speak about this now".

Shaqiri wears boots displaying the Swiss flag on one heel and the Kosovan flag on the other - but Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic asked: "If he loves Kosovo so much and decides to flaunt the flag, why did he refuse a chance to play for their team?"

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 but Serbia does not recognise the status, and relations between the two countries remain tense.

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Federation Internationale de Football Association outlaws all political messages or symbols in stadiums and the two players could be banned for up to two games if they are found to have breached their rules.

Meanwhile in Kaliningrad the day after the match, fans of both sides were not impressed by the gestures.

Xhaka was born in Switzerland, but his ethnic-Albanian parents came from the Serbian city of Kursumlija, where his father was jailed by Yugoslavian authorities in the 1980s for participating in anticommunist demonstrations as a student in the Kosovar capital, Pristina.

"Politics shouldn't be mixed in with sports", said Stefan Gabrilovic, a Serbia supporter who lives in Australia. "For me it's too political, they should concentrate on sports".

"I think it's not necessary but I can not stop them", Affolter said. "I don't like it either".

"You should never mix politics and football".

"It's good to be a fan and important to show respect", Petkovic said. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about".

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