Sports

In politically charged match, Serbia and Switzerland face off

Switzerland is well placed to take second place in Group G.

Who: Switzerland vs Serbia, Group G

When: Friday, December 2, 10:00 PM (7:00 PM GMT)

Where: Stadium 974

FIFA Ranking: Switzerland (15), Serbia (21)

Switzerland and Serbia will battle for last place in Group G in the knockout stages on Friday in a rematch of their 2018 World Cup clash as political tensions clouded a hard-fought match.

Switzerland seems well positioned with three points to join Brazil’s last 16. A win over Serbia would guarantee them a place in the next leg, while a draw would also suffice, unless Cameroon pull off a landslide victory against Brazil, which would mean goal difference would be a determining factor.

Serbia has a much more difficult route to the knockout stages. They need to beat Switzerland by a significant goal margin and then pray for a very accurate result of the Cameroon-Brazil match – a victory for Cameroon but by a narrow margin, so that Serbia has a better goal difference than the African side.

Yet such permutations will not be the only source of tension when the Swiss and Serbs meet. They only played each other once, in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup. That match remains etched in the memory of fans as one with heavy political overtones.

Born in Basel to ethnic Albanian parents from Kosovo, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrated his goal against Serbia by forming with his hands a double-headed eagle, an Albanian nationalist symbol found on the flag of Albania.

Xhaka
Granit Xhaka’s controversial celebration after a goal against Serbia at the 2018 World Cup [Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

Kosovo native Xherdan Shaqiri, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, added another Swiss goal and replicated Xhaka’s celebration in the 2-1 group stage win. behaviour.

Shaqiri, who did not play in Switzerland’s 0-1 defeat to Brazil on Monday due to a muscle strain but is expected to return against Serbia, said regarding the 2018 game the Swiss were in Qatar to play football. Xhaka is also a key member of the Swiss team in Qatar.

The controversy over Kosovo has already shadowed Serbia at this World Cup, with FIFA opening proceedings against the country’s football federation after a flag denoting Kosovo as part of their country was reportedly hung in the dressing room when they faced Brazil .

The Football Association of Kosovo, which joined the European Football Association UEFA and FIFA in 2016, condemned Serbia’s “aggressive action”.

Watch for goals as Switzerland and Serbia kick off on Friday. But also keep an eye on the parties.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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