Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has gone on a lengthy rant following comments from the Swiss FA's secretary general, Alex Miescher.

By 90Min
July 08, 2018

Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has gone on a lengthy rant following comments from the Swiss FA's secretary general, Alex Miescher.

The nation made it to the 2018 World Cup's round of 16 after strong performances in the group stage of the tournament but came up short in the knockout round, exiting after a 1-0 loss to Sweden.

The Swiss hardly played up to the standard they'd shown in previous matches and the national side have been hit with lots of criticism back home. Miescher, though, has made things a lot worse after appearing to hit out at the fact that there are several players carrying dual citizenship in the side.

"Do we want dual nationalities?" he asked in the wake of Switzerland's elimination.

Xhaka himself is one such player. The son of a former political prisoner, the midfielder has roots in Kosovo, while his brother Taulant plays for the Albanian national side.

"The (Miescher) interview quickly made the rounds among the national team. Even during the World Cup and after my double-headed eagle (celebration), Alex came up to us and assured him that he would do anything to protect us – and then three days after we left, such statements came from him," he said during an interview with Keystone-SDA.

"I hear from his comments that he does not trust dual citizens to represent Switzerland. This directly affects me and a few others with two nationalities. It sounds to me as I and my colleagues in Swiss team would not go to the limit. 

"Shortly after we have suffered a bitter defeat in Russia, you just do not do that. We are all Swiss and do everything for the Swiss Nati – each of us – because we all know and are grateful for what Switzerland has done for us and our families.

"My family roots are in Kosovo – as they are for Breel Embolo in Cameroon, Manuel Akanji in Nigeria and Ricardo Rodriguez in Chile and Spain.

"The Swiss national team...today there are 50 to 60 percent double citizens or second generation players. Even our manager (Vladimir Petkovic) is dual citizen who gives blood and sweat to the national team. With these unnecessary comments, Alex Miescher has caused a lot of frowns, and also much disappointment.

"I think Alex certainly has questionable, Stone-Age opinions which target Swiss dual citizens."

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