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Football serves to promote friendship the world over, and the greatest football show on earth, the Fifa World Cup, should bring even greater friendship and understanding.

The other Group E match pits Brazil against Serbia.

However, Shaqiri and Xhaka caused a bit of controversy with their goal celebrations that is believed to similar to the eagle flag of Albania, which could cause political tensions in the Balkans.

Xhaka and Shaqiri were each fined the equivalent of $13,500, while the Swiss team captain, who also made the gesture but is not of Albanian heritage, was fined half that.

Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri marked their goals in Switzerland's 2-1 win over Serbia in Kaliningrad on Friday by crossing their hands to make a double eagle gesture, widely interpreted as paying homage to Albania's flag.

At the stroke of full time, Shakiri scored Switzerland's victor from a swift counter-attack, then the Stoke City midfielder celebrated by crossing his fingers.

Federation Internationale de Football Association rules prohibit political gestures by players or fans, and let the disciplinary panel act on "serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention".

If a disciplinary panel took a strict reading of FIFA's rules, the key trio in Switzerland's starting lineup could potentially be ruled out until the quarterfinals.

Under article 54 of the governing body's disciplinary code, "anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,800)". Each had scored in Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia, whose crackdown on the Albanian population was ended by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervention in 1999.

Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo, whose 1.8 million people are mostly ethnic Albanians, which broke away 10 years ago, and opposed Kosovo's ultimately successful bid to join Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"At this World Cup, VAR has been used in all matches and its advantages have been applied to numerous disputable situations", the Serbia FA statement said.

Serbia midfielder Dusan Tadic continued the criticism on Sunday. He said the hand gesture at the centre of the case is a sign of pride, but not political in nature.

"I just said how I felt about this, and that is the referee has severely damaged us in various parts of the game", Tadic said.


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