Xherdan Shaqiri has not been included in Liverpool’s travelling squad for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade, the Premier League club have announced.
Shaqiri caused a storm along with Switzerland team-mate Granit Xhaka when they both celebrated goals against Serbia at the World Cup in Russia by making an Albanian nationalist eagle symbol with their hands.
The pair are both of Kosovan-Albanian descent and the incident, for which they were fined by FIFA, threatened to inflame political tensions. Kosovo is a former Serbian province and Serbia does not recognise its independence.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said on Liverpool’s official website on Monday “It’s a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football.
“We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all.”
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