Should they be found guilty and handed the maximum punishment, Xhaka and Shaqiri will miss the Swiss’ final Group E game against Costa Rica – a potential must-win encounter if Serbia beat Brazil – as well as the last-16 tie against one of Germany, Mexico and Sweden should they go on to qualify.

Shaqiri was asked about his decision to perform the gesture after scoring an injury-time winner in the 2-1 victory, but perhaps fearing further sanction, he batted questions away.

“I can’t discuss the gesture I am afraid. We are footballers not politicians,” he said. “All I can say is that I scored a goal I am proud of. We can’t discuss anything else. Emotions sometimes take over footballers and there was a lot of emotion out there. To score a goal like that – it is very difficult to keep your emotions under check.”

Fifa has also launched an investigation against Serbia after a group of fans were seen wearing offensive jumpers at the game, which featured the face of convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic.

“In relation to the same match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans,” the statement continued.

“Furthermore, a preliminary investigation has been opened against the coach of the Serbian national team Mladen Krstajic for alleged statements made in the aftermath of the said match.”

The head coach made a complaint through the Serbian Football Association regarding the performance of the officials in the match, with Krstajic making comments about Felix Brych in the aftermath of the match as well as Serbian FA vice-president Savo Milosevic.


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