Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Liverpool leave Shaqiri out due to political reasons

Xherdan Shaqiri was a member of Bayern Munich's treble winning side of 2012/13 Xherdan Shaqiri was a member of Bayern Munich's treble winning side of 2012/13
Shannon Reynolds | 05 November, 2018, 22:39

After scoring for Switzerland against Serbia during this year's World Cup, he celebrated by making a double-headed eagle gesture, which symbolises the Albanian flag. Shaqiri was born in the former Yugoslav city of Gjilan, which is now part of Kosovo, whose declaration of independence in 2008 has not been recognised by Serbia.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Jurgen Klopp said: "The combination of atmosphere and football they play is the challenge".

"I played for one of the biggest teams in the world in Munich and again I am playing for one of the big clubs". We have no political message, absolutely not. So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this.

"He is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday". "We have to cool the situation down because we can not clarify that situation tonight and it's not our job".

"We are in Serbia, we respect that 100 per cent". Politics always has always influence on life, on the life I live at least, and that's how it is.

"We are in the group with teams that are fighting for the Champions League trophy".

"I realise tonight, I expected it differently, but mostly the English-speaking journalists were asking about it to be honest".

"It could have been a story but we didn't want to have a story besides a football story". That's why we decided what we decided.

Before the confirmation of Shaqiri's omission, Red Star's sporting director Zvezdan Terzic revealed that his side would do their duty to protect Shaqiri alongside Liverpool - though stressed the impact of the situation.

Shaqiri (along with Xhaka) would have faced two-match bans had Federation Internationale de Football Association decided that their celebrations broke relegations regarding rules on political messages through goal celebrations.

The French champions go to Italy for a huge match later on Tuesday after Liverpool play.

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What was behind Shaqiri's celebration against Serbia in the World Cup?

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It's Kelleher's first call up to the Liverpool senior squad since their 5-0 win over Napoli in the pre-season but will travel with Jurgen Klopp's side alongside first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

"We've been watching videos of how the fans act and it's a special stadium".

"We were really good that night and if we had been a bit less good then Red Star would be in the game, but that night we were really strong". Walking down the tunnel we have to use that noise to our advantage'.

"The only thing I can make sure is that the boys do the job on the pitch".

Midfield: Naby Keita is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury that's kept him out of the last five games in all competitions and the Guinea global could be recalled in midfield if Klopp feels he's fully match fit.

Liverpool leads Group C with six points from three matches while Red Star is last with one.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also closing in on a return from a hamstring injury, but he will remain at Melwood for fitness sessions.

He said: "We will take pretty much everyone".

"Hendo was close, but not close enough". But that gives us a few options and opportunities.

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