Selebrasi goals Granite Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri in the 2018 World Cup to make FIFA impose a fine for them. The fine was responded by the emergence of a campaign, now viral, containing support for Xhaka and Shaqiri.
Xhaka and Shaqiri, who have links with Albania-Kosovo, both scored when Switzerland won 2-1 against Serbia. They celebrated their respective goals with a two-headed hawk gesture in the Albanian national flag.
The celebration of the goal is full of political nuance considering the opponent encountered is Serbia. Politically, Serbia has never acknowledged the independence of Kosovo, whose majority of the country is of ethnic Albanian origin. Relations between the two countries continue to run fierce.
FIFA then invested in a celebration of Xhaka and Shaqiri’s goals, until finally dropping a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs for both of them for not respecting the fair play spirit.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, their Swiss team mate and captain, was fined 5,000 Swiss francs for participating in a celebration of Xhaka and Shaqiri goals. Thus preached Reuters.
Fines from FIFA to Xhaka and Shaqiri then led to a solidarity action that supports the action of both footballers. As a form of support, a fund raising campaign (crowdfunding) was rolling to pay their fines.
On the crowfunding page at GoFundMe, the initiator (known to reside in New York, United States) mentions that the funds raised will go to charities if the Swiss Football Federation is reluctant to accept the money.
Since its inception, this campaign has collected nearly half of the target of 25 thousand US dollars or approximately equivalent to 25 thousand Swiss francs, alias total penalties from FIFA for the three Swiss players.
Viral campaigns have also spawned a number of direct reactions in the form of direct support, one of them is from the Minister of Trade and Industry of Albania Bajram Hasani. He was determined to donate a month’s salary to the campaign.
“There is not enough money to pay how valuable the feelings come from the eagle celebrations of Granite Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, they are punished simply for not forgetting their origins,” he said as quoted by Omnisport.
“It’s no matter whether they can afford it or not they pay the fine, but the pride they give has made us feel obliged to set aside pay to pay this fine. Go on, friends, make us proud!” he said.