2022 World Cup qualifiers: Serbia calls for sanctions against Xherdan Shaqiri and Kosovo

Winner of Luxembourg during a qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup, Serbia tasted very little of two events that took place on other European lawns on Saturday evening, during Switzerland – Northern Ireland and Sweden – Kosovo. The Serbian Federation openly targets the latter, a neighboring country whose independence proclaimed in February 2008 it does not recognize.

In a press release published on Sunday on the Federation’s website, its secretary general Jovan Surbatovic announces that an official letter of protest will be sent to FIFA on Sunday. He further calls for “kick out of football“those responsible for several situations that arose on Saturday.

In the stands of the Friends Arena in Stockholm, several flags and banners “Kosovo is Albania“were deployed by Kosovar supporters. For several weeks, an escalation of unrest between Serbia and Kosovo has seen the possibility of a union between Kosovo and Albania resurfacing. In his press release, Jovan Surbatovic denounces these slogans and assures us that the Serbian Federation will use “all legal mechanisms to expel those responsible for these events from football.

At the same time on Saturday night, another incident at the end of the Switzerland – Northern Ireland match saw Olympique Lyonnais player Xherdan Shaqiri find himself in the crosshairs of Serbian football. The player of the Swiss selection, of Kosovar origins, was dressed in a jacket bearing the image of the KLA, “the Kosovo liberation army”, by a stranger who burst onto the lawn during a post-match interview.

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Surprised, Shaqiri immediately took off the jacket with an embarrassed smile. The KLA, an Albanian-Kosovar paramilitary militia that claimed responsibility for several attacks during the fighting for Kosovo’s independence, is considered a terrorist organization by Serbia.

We will demand an immediate response and the most severe sanctions against Shaqiri for promoting the criminal terrorist organization UÇK“Says the Serbian federation. His Swiss counterpart defended his player, attacked on social networks since this sequence.”It is unacceptable that people want to hijack football stadiums, and in this specific case interviewing a player after a match, for political propaganda purposes., declared the Nati. Xherdan Shaqiri reacted in an exemplary manner, remained calm and did not respond.

The Swiss Federation added that the man who gave his jacket to Xherdan Shaqiri had been questioned by police and was subject to an immediate stadium ban.

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