Who is afraid of Granit Xhaka ?
A comment of a sports reporter on TV and a 'supposed' post on Facebook last week, preoccupied the public opinion in Switzerland about the international Swiss footballer of Albanian origin, Granit Xhaka.
The match of September 12 between Switzerland and Albania for the World Cup qualifiers, which ended 2-0, had caused great concern to both sides.
The reason is that five players from Switzerland (Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami, Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili and Admir Mehmedi) are children of Albanian refugees from Kosovo, who emigrated to Switzerland in the late '90 to escape the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, as they did indeed thousands of their compatriots.
The match in Lucerne, was described as "high risk" match, due to the presence of many Albanian fans in the stadium. The match was going on quietly, with the exception of swearing and slogans against the players above. At the end of the match, with the score already 2-0 in favor of the Swiss, Xhaka lost to a great opportunity to score and there it all began...
"Oh, what was that? All he had to do was push the ball into the net! I would like to see this again! Probably, Xhaka didn't want to score against Albania!" said the Swiss sports reporter who described the match, Sascha Ruefer. His words caused a lot of reactions...
The moment where Granit Xhaka loses the opportunity to score
Many veteran players of Switzerland and major names in sports industry, denounced his words, saying that he can not continue to be a sports reporter after that.
Because of the uproar, Sascha Ruefer forced to declare that his comment was "somewhat unfortunate" and he regretted about it, but denied that he said it because he does not like the Albanian origin players.
"It is wrong to think that I told it about this reason. If the score was at 0-0, I would not have said anything. In this sense, it would be provocative to say something like that. But with the score at 2-0 to Switzerland, there would be no difference." he justified.
Well, the story does not finish here. The other day, a post on the personal page of Granit Xhaka on facebook said:
"I deliberately lost the opportunity to score because I feel completely Albanian."
Unfortunately, the "news" was spread from many serious news website worldwide, until they discovered that the profile was fake...
Finally, the Swiss football federation, Xhaka's coach and the majority of the local press fully covered Xhaka and the topic considered closed for them.
"In Switzerland, some people call me Albanian, in Albania they call me traitor. I've used to hear that, and i don't care." he said.
The conclusion is that racist sentiments are largely affect football, and that must be stopped by all means...