Three Switzerland stars have escaped World Cup 2018 match bans but been hit with FIFA fines for their goal celebrations in Friday’s 2-1 win over Serbia.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Stoke City forward Xherdan Shaqiri were fined £7,600 for making hand gesture to mimic the Albanian national symbol, an eagle.
New Arsenal signing and Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner was also fined £3,700 for his part in the goal celebrations, which saw their side leapfrog Group E rivals Serbia into second place after two matches.
Xhaka and Shaqiri are of Kosovar heritage and their celebrations greatly angered Serbia’s FA, with their president condemning and claiming a “brutal robbery” had denied the Balkan side of a win last week .
FIFA had opened disciplinary proceedings against the Swiss players in the immediate aftermath and the trio have been warned over their “unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play” in future matches. If the offence is repeated, the trio have been told they will face more severe sanctions.
Despite being recognised by UEFA, Serbia does not acknowledge Kosovo as an independent state, with relations between the Balkan nations remaining tense.