“Genius dumbass”: swiss goal celebration causes a stir

Switzerland’s world cup quarterfinal is within reach, but granit xhaka and xherdan shaqiri’s provocative goal celebration in the win against serbia is met with criticism and incomprehension.

Even their coach vladimir petkovic could not hide his displeasure at the action of the former bundesliga pros. "You shouldn’t mix sport and politics. The whole federation, the whole country has been saying for years that we don’t need that," the swiss coach said after the hard-fought 2-1 (0-1) win over the serbs.

Swiss xhaka and shaqiri have kosovar roots and formed after their goals in 52. And 90. The former gladbach coach also played a part in the game. Serbia still does not recognize kosovo as an independent country, underscoring the political dimension of the controversial cheer. "Ingenious fools", commented the swiss tabloid "blick" – describing the duo’s rough sporting class and headless provocation in equal measure.

Xhaka and shaqiri, who were booed by serbian and russian fans in the packed kaliningrad stadium, justified their jubilation with the heated atmosphere, the importance of the game and their raw emotions. After the early lead of the long superior serbs by aleksandar mitrovic (5. Minute) xhaka and shaqiri turned the game around after a feat of strength. "This was not about politics, but about football," the former bayern pro shaqiri assured, and did not want to talk further about the double-eagle cheer. "There are always emotions in soccer. I was just happy that I scored such an important goal."

Former gladbach pro xhaka also tried to play down the subject, but admitted: "for me it was a very special game. Thousands of people, family from switzerland, from albania, from kosovo were watching," said the 25-year-old from FC arsenal. He dedicated the victory and the goal to "my family, which always supports me". The jubilation was not a message to the opponent: "it was pure emotion!"Xhaka’s father was arrested in the 1980s during protests in kosovo against the central government and spent three years in a serbian prison before fleeing to switzerland.

For all the joy of the victory, the action made waves in the neutral country. Natalie rickli, a member of parliament for the right-wing conservative SVP party, wrote on twitter: "I can’t really be happy. The two goals were not scored for switzerland, but for kosovo."The "tagesanzeiger" credited xhaka with "the over-loving hormones", but: "the action was certainly not clever."It is possible that the world football association fifa will also look into the case and impose sanctions if it considers the cheer to be a political statement, which is forbidden.

For the serbs, the referee felix brych was also a source of annoyance. In your opinion, the munich referee, who prudently directed the game, denied the team a goal in the 66th minute. In the 66th minute, when mitrovic was in a duel with stephan lichtsteiner and fabian schar, the referee wrongly awarded the team a penalty kick. Serbia’s football federation (FSS) announced an "official statement" on its website on saturday. Whether the FSS will complain to FIFA was initially unclear.

Coach mladen krstajic made "no comment" on the referee. Serbian media were less restrained: "the brutal theft of brych", headlined the newspaper "sportski zurnal". The tabloid "alo" wrote: "the german stole from us. The impartial massacred our team and enabled our opponent to turn a defeat into a victory."

Regardless, a draw against costa rica in the last game of group E was enough for switzerland (4 points) to advance to the eighth finals. Serbia (3) needs a win against brazil (4). Krstajic does not give up hope: "brazil was already the group and even title favorite before the world cup. But nothing is impossible."

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