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World Sports Advocate
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Volume: 16 Issue: 8
(August 2018)

double-eagle goal celebration legal rather socio-political issue 2018 fif world cup group stage match 22 june 2018 switzerland 51

Switzerland Russia

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The double-eagle goal celebration: a legal or rather a socio-political issue?

At a 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage match on 22 June 2018, Switzerland were, at 51 minutes, 0-1 behind Serbia at the Kaliningrad stadium. Granit Xhaka scored with a powerful long range shot to make it 1-1, and celebrated his goal by joining his thumbs together and spreading his fingers to imitate the Albanian double-eagle. After Xherdan Shaqiri had run free from his opponents in the last minute of the game and scored the match winning goal to finish at 2-1, he did the same - he took off his jersey and spread his fingers to show the audience the double-eagle. A resulting FIFA investigation led to three Swiss players being fined and issued a warning for a violation of Article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. Debate arose as to whether, instead, they were in breach of Article 54 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, and therefore subject to a two-game ban. Dr. András Gurovits, Partner at Niederer Kraft Frey, discusses how the FIFA Disciplinary Code was applied in this matter, and the socio-political issues the goal celebrations consequently raised.

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