Shkodran Mustafi avoids FA punishment over controversial goal celebration

The German defender scored an 11th-minute header against Cardiff on Sunday

Samuel Lovett
Monday 03 September 2018 17:19
Shkodran Mustafi goal celebration during Cardiff vs Arsenal, which risks FA punishment due to pro-Kosovo meaning

Shkodran Mustafi will not face retrospective punishment by the Football Association for his goal celebration in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Cardiff City.

The German defender, born in Germany to an Albanian family from Macedonia, celebrated his 11th-minute goal by locking his open hands together at the thumbs and ‘flapping’ his fingers.

The gesture resembles – and is understood to be a reference to – the double-headed eagle on Albania’s national flag.

Mustafi made the gesture towards assister Granit Xhaka, another Arsenal player with Kosovar-Albanian heritage.

Given the FA’s regulation regarding political statements in the game, Mustafi risked punishment for his celebration but the organisation has opted not to take action against the defender.

During the World Cup both Switzerland’s Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were both disciplined for celebrating in the same manner against Serbia.

Following a short investigation, Fifa fine Xhaka and Shaqiri “for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play during their goal(s) celebrations at the match Switzerland vs. Serbia.” Stephen Lichsteiner was also fined having joined in with the celebrations.

Tensions remain high between ethnic Albanians and nationalist Serbs in Kosovo. Kosovo’s Albanian-majority political institutions declared independence in 2008 but, a decade on, the territory is still not recognised by Serbia.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in