Friday, June 2, 2023

FIFA takes a decision for Granit Xhaka

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Granit Xhaka will not be punished after appearing to break a FIFA rule on politics on the football pitch.

Arsenal star, Xhaka has led the Swiss national team to the knockout stage of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 as he continues to show he is a key player for his club and country.

Their game against Serbia was a heated encounter considering the rivalry between both nations.

Xhaka was caught on camera holding his crotch at the Serbian bench which sparked an angry reaction from them.

After the game, the midfielder wore a Swiss jersey with the name Jashari written on it.

What did Granit Xhaka do in the match against Serbia that FIFA is asking him to investigate?

It seemed to reference Adem Jashari who founded the Kosovo Liberation Army.

However, after the game, he claimed it was about his teammate Ardon Jashari, and The Sun reveals he has escaped a FIFA fine.

After qualifying for the World Cup knockout stages with two wins from three, Group G runners-up Switzerland now tackle last-16 opponents Portugal at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.

Having somehow avoided a single red card during a tempestuous clash with Serbia in their final group game, Murat Yakin’s side have no suspensions to deal with, but Manuel Akanji, Fabian Schar and Granit Xhaka are among seven players one booking away from missing out on a potential quarter-final.

As in the Netherlands’ camp, illness apparently caused by air conditioning laid low some squad members last week, with goalkeepers Yann Sommer and Phillip Kohn joining centre-back Nico Elvedi in missing the game against Serbia.

It remains to be seen whether that trio will return in time for Tuesday’s game, but if undisputed first-choice Sommer remains sidelined, Gregor Kobel stands ready to deputise again.

Captain and midfield dynamo Xhaka was one of several players flirting with dismissal on Friday, but is available to partner Remo Freuler in the Nati’s well-oiled engine room; Akanji partners Schar at the back.

With Breel Embolo, who has scored twice in Qatar so far, almost certain to start up front, the most likely members of his supporting cast are Ruben Vargas and Xherdan Shaqiri.

The latter has racked up over a century of senior caps, and his goal versus the Serbians was the 27th of a career which has spanned four World Cups.

Switzerland possible starting lineup: Kobel; Widmer, Akanji, Schar, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo


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