Q & A: Why does Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri miss the Champions League trip against Red Star Belgrade?
- Liverpool have taken Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for a game against Red Star Belgrade
- The decision was made about fears over the reception that Shaqiri would receive
- Here, Sports mail provides the details of the decision to omit Shaqiri
Laurie Whitwell for the Daily Mail
Xherdan Shaqiri was taken off Liverpool's side against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night for fear of receiving the winger for his Albanian heritage.
The Reds have to get along for the Champions League fight without the Swiss international.
Here, Sports mail gives an explanation for this unusual step.
Liverpool decided to remove Xherdan Shaqiri from the squad for the trip to Serbia
What is the problem?
Shaqiri was born in Gjilan, a city in Kosovo, and is of Albanian origin. Due to the tensions in the region he moved in 1992 with his parents to Switzerland.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after the war in the 1990s, something Serbia did not want to recognize.
But why could it be a problem for him to go to Belgrade now?
Shaqiri was a source of controversy when he celebrated his victor against Serbia in this year's World Cup group stage by crossing his hands in the shape of a double eagle. For Albanians, the double-headed eagle is a symbol of pride depicted on its flag.
His Swiss national player Granit Xhaka – also of Albanian descent – made the same gesture when he scored in the same game. The couple was fined 7,600 pounds by Fifa for formulating a political message.
The act is intended to anger Serbs who do not recognize Kosovo's independence and ethnic Albanians who rule the country.
Shaqiri angered the Serbs with his double-headed eagle celebration at the World Cup
Why did Liverpool make this decision?
Jurgen Klopp said that Liverpool has read the speculation about what atmosphere Shaqiri will be in and wants to defuse the hostility.
He said: "We want to go there and concentrate 100 per cent on football and do not have to think about it. We want to be respectful and avoid distractions. "
What is Shaqiri's opinion?
Klopp said Shaqiri accepted the call, but earlier statements from the 27-year-old suggest he would have liked to play.
Last month, he said, "I've had that at the World Cup, so I know I can not solve a problem with it. It's not about politics, it's about football. I'm not worried about anything and go to play. "
Earlier statements by Shaqiri indicated that he would have liked to play in the game