In this case, there's little doubt that both players intended the gesture as a statement towards Serbia and the Serbian team.
And Shaqiri would secure the points on the stroke of 90 minutes when he broke behind the defence and rolled his shot past a charging Stojkovic to make Switzerland the first team to score a come-from-behind victory in Russian Federation. The Macedonian Albanian community, which makes up for around 25 percent of the 2.1 million population of Macedonia, are the biggest ethnic minority in the country.
Shaqiri had been booed relentlessly by Serbia fans during the high-quality match, but had the last laugh with his last ditch victor. "In football, you have always emotions".
"It's clear that emotions were displayed up and I think we all need to steer away from politics and focus on this sport as a lovely game that brings people together", Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic told reporters.
"I'm very happy to score the goal, that's all". "I think on and off the pitch we need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this as a sport that brings people together". It's clear that emotions show up and that's how things happen.
Such displays have angered some Serbian fans, who often wear T-shirts bearing the map of Kosovo with the Serbian flag on it.
Switzerland grew in stature after the break and were rewarded with a spectacular equaliser courtesy of Xhaka's left foot.
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They had the better chances in the second period, with Shaqiri's curling effort from the edge of the area grazing Stojkovic's bar on the hour mark.
Xhaka struck the Swiss equalizer in the 52nd minute before Shaqiri scored a late victor when he broke free from the half-way line to slot past Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
This prompted Vladimir Petkovic to switch it up at half-time and he brought on Mario Gavranovic at the expense of a despondent Seferovic, and the Swiss attack was immediately transformed, as they pushed forward with more intent and objective than in the first half.
"What is important is that we have developed this winning mentality even when we are down", said Petkovic, whose side have lost only one of their last 24 games. Politicians in Switzerland and Serbia had their say, too, in the matter.
It did not take long for the opening goal to come in this match, as Aleksandar Mitrovic's expertly timed header put the Serbs a goal to the good with just five minutes on the clock.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).