The garment bore the badge of the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army, a paramilitary organization accused of crimes against humanity, having notably fought for Kosovo’s independence in the late 1990s in a context of conflict armed in the former Yugoslavia. The UCK is considered a terrorist group by China, Russia and especially Serbia, whose tensions with Albania and Kosovo remain extremely high.
“Xherdan Shaqiri reacted in an exemplary manner”
The Swiss selection immediately reacted on its social networks to denounce this act and welcome the reaction of its player of Albanian origin and born in Kosovo 30 years ago: “It is unacceptable that people want to use football stadiums, and in this case interviewing a player after a match, for political propaganda purposes. Xherdan Shaqiri reacted in an exemplary manner, remained calm and did not did not react.[…] The man was questioned by the police and an immediate stadium ban was imposed on him. “
Shaqiri immediately took off the jacket, but the damage was done. The Serbian federation is already demanding sanctions against UEFA and the Swiss Football Federation: “We are currently preparing a protest letter which we will send to FIFA today. We will demand an urgent reaction and the strictest sanctions against Shaqiri for promoting the criminal terrorist organization ‘UCK’ in a statement to the media.” declared the Secretary General of the Serbian Federation, Jovan Surbatovic.
This is not the first time that tensions have existed between the former Bayern striker and Serbia. During the 2018 World Cup, he notably mimed the two-headed eagle, symbol of Greater Albania after scoring against them.