Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner have avoided bans over their celebrations in the 2-1 World Cup Group E win over Serbia, with FIFA announcing on Monday each player had been fined.
A statement from FIFA said its disciplinary committee had fined Xhaka and Shaqiri 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,632) each and Lichtsteiner 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,816), with all three also being given warnings, having “infringed art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play” with their celebrations.
Xhaka and Shaqiri, who who are both of Albanian-Kosovan heritage and scored Switzerland’s goals in the victory last Friday, were charged on Saturday having celebrated by putting their hands together to form a double-headed eagle similar to the one on the Albanian flag.
This nationalist symbol risked inflaming tensions in the Balkans among Serbians – who do not recognise Kosovo’s independence – and ethnic Albanians. On Sunday, FIFA announced Lichtsteiner has also been charged having joined in with the celebration.
Winger Shaqiri was born in Kosovo and midfielder Xhaka was born to Albanian parents who were originally from Serbia.
His father was a political prisoner following the 1986 student demonstrations in Yugoslavia against the communist government in Belgrade. Xhaka’s brother Taulant plays for Albania’s national side.
Also in relation to last Friday’s match, Serbian Football Association president Slavisa Kokeza and team coach Mladen Krstajic have each been fined 5,000 Swiss francs and warned over “unsporting behaviour due to statements made in the aftermath”.
Kokeza had told BBC Sport Serbia were victims of a “brutal robbery” and claimed FIFA had directed officials to favour Switzerland.
Additionally, the Serbian FA has been fined 54,000 Swiss francs (£41,215) and warned with regard to “the display of discriminatory banners and messages by Serbian supporters” and throwing objects in the game.
FIFA also on Monday announced Argentina’s FA had been fined 105,000 Swiss francs (£80,141) and warned in relation to the team’s 3-0 Group D loss to Croatia last Thursday.
The punishment was for “the involvement of Argentinian supporters in fights, throwing objects and homophobic and insulting chants as well as for breaching the Media and Marketing Regulations for failing to attend a flash interview after the match.”
The Croatian FA has been fined 13,000 Swiss francs (£9,922) and warned for the involvement of Croatia fans in fights and throwing objects during the contest.