Monday, July 02, 2018
FIFA: Political gestures are unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play
Using gestures to make political points is outlawed under FIFA’s disciplinary code. The laws of the game state that disciplinary sanctions are the responsibility of the competition organiser and the referee will include details in the match report. In 1996, goal keeper Mark Bosnich (former Aston Villa, and Australia) was seen giving a mock Nazi style salute at White Hart Lane during a 1-0 defeat to Spurs, he was severely repromanded for his puerile action.
Unlike, declared fashist, Paolo Di Canio (Lazio ), who in 2005 used the Roman salute (gesture associated with 20th century Italian fascists) on several occasions toward rival supporters. He received a one-match ban after the second event and was fined €7,000. Controversial, Di Canio's political ideology continued throughout his managerial career.
In 2013, former Greek internationalist, Giorgos Katidis (FK Olympia Prague ) celebrated scoring a goal when he was captain of the under 19 team, by giving the crowd a Nazi salute. For his actions, the Hellenic Football Federation imposed a lifetime ban, barring him from participating in all Greek national teams.
During the Group E tie between Switzerland and Serbia, Swiss internationals Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) and Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) put their hands together to form what appeared to resemble a two-headed eagle, which features on the Albanian flag. The Swiss captain, Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal), also made the same gesture during the match. The Swiss players have family connections to Kosovo and Serbia does not acknowledge Kosovo as an independent state, with relations between the Balkan nations tense. After due consideration by FIFA and under "unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play", ruling all, three payers were warned and fined. Both Xhaka and Shaqiri were each fined Swiss Franks 10,000 (A$14,000); and Lichtsteiner ,a fine of Swiss Franks 5,000 (A$7,000). Under the FIFA disciplinary code “Anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches,” but FIFA have confirmed they will not be banned for World Cup games over their goal celebrations.
FIFA also punished Slavisa Kokeza, president of the Football Association of Serbia, as well as coach Mladen Krstajic in relation to comments they made on the goal celebrations after the match. Kokeza and Krstajic were sanctioned with fines of Swiss Franks 5,000 (A$7,000) and both men were also warned about their conduct. The Football Association of Serbia was also fined Swiss Franks 54,000 (A$74,000) and given a warning "for the display of discriminatory banners and messages by Serbian supporters as well as for throwing objects during the match".