World Cup 2022: Why is there political tension between Serbia and Switzerland?

Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia.
(Image credit: Norbert Barczyk/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

When Switzerland and Serbia were drawn against one another at World Cup 2022, there were more than a few glances cast towards a final group match between the pair. Not just because they faced one another four years ago. Not just because with Brazil the overwhelming favourites to head through, the two European nations may be playing off for the other spot in the last-16. 

You wouldn't immediately think of famously neutral Switzerland having political tension with anyone but after the last meeting between this pair in World Cup football, Swiss stars Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were both fined 10,000 Swiss francs "for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play".

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Mark White
Content Editor

Mark White is the Digital Content Editor at FourFourTwo. During his time on the brand, Mark has written three cover features on Mikel Arteta, Martin Odegaard and the Invincibles, and has written pieces on subjects ranging from Sir Bobby Robson’s time at Barcelona to the career of Robinho. An encyclopedia of football trivia and collector of shirts, he first joined the team back in 2020 as a staff writer.