Kosovo and Albania collect money to pay Granit Xhaka’s fine

The leaders of Kosovo and Albania have said they are collecting money to pay the fines imposed on Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner and Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri after they celebrated against Serbia with double-eagle gestures referring to Albania’s national symbol. Serbia have never recognized Kosovo’s declaration of independence despite its recognition by 116 other countries.

A statement from FIFA on Monday said Xhaka and Shaqiri had been fined 10,000 Swiss francs (around €8670) each and Lichtsteiner 5,000 Swiss francs (€4,335), with all three also given warnings, having “infringed the FIFA disciplinary code for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play.”

In response the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said yesterday on RTK Live that he had opened a bank account to enable his fellow countrymen to help pay the fines, which he called “absurd.”

The account named “Don’t be afraid of the eagle” is a “gesture of gratitude to the two sportsmen,” he said on Facebook.

Kosovo also opened an online fund and only hours afterward had collected nearly $23,000, officials said.

The Kosovar Commerce and Industry Minister Bajram Hasani said he had donated the amount of his monthly salary — about 1,500 euros.

“They were punished only because they did not forget their roots, they did not forget where they came from,” Hasani said. “Money cannot buy the joy that Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri brought us by celebrating with the eagle sign,” he said.

This controversy simply won’t go away, and FIFA have only added fuel to the fire by giving the players fines. I’ll just leave that there shall I?



  1. ks-gunner says:

    Ma god we are such a dramatic bunch of people. Do the eagle and let the pay whatever price they need to pay for them self. I for once am going to contribute with a f. to give as i know that there is nothing wrong in doing that signature celebration move as you can wield it around everybody besides as it seems not the Serbs. And second Granit has enough money and expecting it to be payed by the likes of poor b@stards from home would be embarrassing and wrong.

    Play the game and leave politics out of it. Good luck to our boys. They doing great so far.

    1. Mobella says:

      What was not on the news during the whole fiasco was the fact that Serbia n fans started the whole thing by chanting and displaying derogatory songs and banners during the match for which their fa was charged around 45,000euro. The whole eagle thing was made an issue by press and it just exposed them for the two face c**t they are.

  2. kev says:

    I’m glad I was wrong on Fellaini.
    Man Utd have agreed a 2 year extension with him at £100,000 per week.

    Banega wants assurances over playing time before coming as he has several offers from clubs who were willing to give him first team football.

    Soyuncu personal terms are already done and Sanllehi is still on the case trying to get him for a reduced fee after agreeing initially to pay the £35m.
    The player’s head has been turned and is unlikely to stay at Freiburg.Also I said a months ago that Freiburg have already signed his replacement.

    1. snowden says:

      All rumors are wrong.

      1. kev says:

        Not rumours.Fellaini won’t come.
        We are interested in Banega but he wants assurances of game time.
        We already agreed to pay Freiburg the £35m long ago and the personal terms wasn’t a problem.But Sanllehi is trying to reduce the fee to around £25m – £30m.The player’s head has been turned and Freiburg have already fallen into the trap.

    2. kev says:

      His arrival will also signal the end of Mustafi who we are hoping we can get at least £20m for.We will include some terms in that deal that will help us to recoup almost close to what we bought him for.

      We will definitely be signing a winger in this window too.

  3. jon fox says:

    Mr. Admin , You are on dangerous ground with this topic , if people were to give their real opinions. I WILL NOT as I think it a silly topic to raise and not any real connection with Arsenal. What our players do at the world cup, away from actual perfs on pitch, should be left alone. Only my opinion, obviously. Though people are of course free to write as they wish, which is the way it should be. But YOU are the Admin with hopefully a wider sense of thought to be applied on topics raised.

    1. Taiwo says:

      I have earlier suggested that admin should stay clear political topics but i was talked off it . Nice one mate .

      1. jon fox says:

        Taiwo, Sadly , he seems to put sheer quantity of topics, however foolish they may be, to be more important than quality of topics. He is a good guy and means well but sometimes I do wonder at his judgement.

    2. Maks says:

      I agree with you,
      Just Arsenal should stay politics free. Admin is (not) aware that he has touched very sensitive topic here where truth is somewhere in the middle not very clear to people outiside Balkans…
      or our Admin is albaniana (or writer of the first article on this, so called Dan Smith, which is not a real name for sure) and has different agenda in mind? 🙂

      1. Admin says:

        Lol I am Irish.
        Dan lives in England and always has.
        We are simply reporting news that concerns arsenal players. If it upsets you that is not our problem. We have not supported any side we are simply reporting….

    3. Admin says:

      They did it on the porch Jon.
      It is news about Arsenal. I’m not happy with the Rwanda situation where the average wage is 50p an hour and they are giving Arsenal 30 million.
      It is all relevant as it concerns our club.
      If people want to read more into into it that is not my problem mate….

      1. Admin says:

        Porch lol I meant pitch

      2. jon fox says:

        Mr. Admin, That is a cop out and you know it. If you don’t by any chance, then you really should. You cannot ignore the political situation in our 24/7 global world . I wish you could but I, at least, am realistic enough to know that you can’t. Topics on here that give our world wide posters on here a chance to sound off on politics are foolishly chosen by you. I will continue to be on here and have said my piece but I am surprised more than disappointed in your comment, as I really thought you had far more savvy. I have no doubt your heart is in the right place but is your brain also, I sometimes wonder! BTW, I very much concur about Rwanda and our club profiting from this tyrant running that country. To be clear as you coul not possibly know this , I am a very politically active person and am on several diverse political sites, arguing my case. But they are well controlled by moderators who are well aware of the dangers and in any case only attract people who are politically astute. On a football and ARSENAL site, I repeat with emphasis, that I caution against your cop out type thinking. It is liable to be counter productive to what you have built up so well and for which you do deserve much credit. Nothing personal meant in my comments.

      3. Rudy Garcia fan says:

        The Rwanda thing is okay.

        They will earn much more than 30 mill. from tourism. It’s an investment for them that might be worthwhile.

        Those of us from countries ravaged by Albanian nationalists however feel that any issues related to that moron Xhaka’s personal ethnocentrisms should be left to his own lying feeble mind. (Since every single former Yugoslavian knows that nobody was jailed for years for being one among 20.000 demonstrators in the late 80s. Even earlier you had to do more than that. So that BS story about his criminal daddy is totally bogus). BTW, I would say the same thing if it was a Serbian player glorifying ‘Greater Serbia’)

        Selling the lying ethnocentric moron would be the best thing for Arsenal. Let him play for f…… Flamurtari. He’d love it, surely.

  4. Good beginning for unai Emery as we’re in the transfer market, but it is time to get all of our transfer target ripe up before the World Cup end.
    We need a good winger, central defend,and also a holding midfielder.

  5. Namo says:

    We all know that when politics is being discussed, a lot of sentiments and emotions come into play. You tend to see things from a “selfish” perspective.
    Yes, what happened in the Swiss v Serbia game affects an Arsenal player, Xhaka. I will not fault the Admin for reporting it at the first instance but, I expected it to end there. Further posts on the issue or even any other politics related topics, should be discouraged.
    My humble opinion…

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