Switzerland conflict with Serbia evokes memories of political tensions

Switzerland conflict with Serbia evokes memories of political tensions

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Switzerland and Serbia will battle for the last place in Group G in the knockout stage on Friday in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup clash that could restart political tensions between the teams.

Switzerland, on three points, are in a good position to join Brazil in the last 16. A win over Serbia would guarantee the Swiss a place in the next stage, while a draw would also suffice, unless Cameroon pull off an upset win against Brazil, which would mean goal difference would be a determining factor.

Switzerland and Serbia – who need a win to have a chance to advance alongside Cameroon – have played each other only once in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup. That match remains in the memory of fans as a heavily political undertaking.

Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, born in Basel to ethnic Albanian parents from Kosovo, celebrated his goal against Serbia by making a double-headed eagle with his hand, an Albanian nationalist symbol that can be found on the flag of Albania Is.

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