Double Eagle! This Is Why Serbs Aren’t Happy With Granit Xhaka And Xherdan Shaqiri

The people of Serbia has hit out at a “provocative” double eagle celebration by two ethnic Albanian goalscorers in the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri scored for Switzerland who beat Serbia 2-1. Their gesture is an nationalist symbol representing the double headed eagle on Albania’s national flag. Critics say it could inflame tensions among Serbian nationalists and ethnic Albanians. Albania’s leaders applauded the pair. A pro-government Serbian newspaper said they had “humiliated” Switzerland. The celebration has brought political tensions in the Balkans on to the World Cup stage. Some Swiss papers also called the gesture a provocation betraying a lack of political sensitivity. Both players had earlier been booed by Serbian fans during the match.Shaqiri later sought to downplay his celebration, saying: “It’s just emotion. I’m very happy to score this goal. It’s not more. I think we don’t have to speak about this now.” Xhaka and Shaqiri’s families are from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population only ended with Nato military intervention in 1999. Xhaka’s father spent three-and-a-half years as a political prisoner in Yugoslavia for his support for Kosovan independence. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and his family fled to Switzerland as refugees.Photo Credit: Getty

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