Patrick Stumpf und Leon Jensen at the Acropolis in Athens. The double eagle symbol is banned by Fifa.
Photo credit: screenshot newsbeast
Ahead of their Europa League match against Olympiacos on Thursday evening, Patrick Stumpf and Leon Jensen of F91 Dudelange faced a barrage of criticism for apparently making the pro Kosovo double-eagle symbol.
The two players, who are both German, were photographed allegedly making the sign with their hands at the Acropolis in Athens. The double eagle represents the Albanian flag and is viewed as a symbol of defiance in Kosovo. Its declaration of independence in 2008 is still not recognized by Serbia. The photo was posted on the F91 Facebook page, but was later removed, Luxemburger Wort’s German site reports.
Dudelange lost the match. The final score was 5-1 with Olympiakos storming to a 4-0 lead within 36 minutes. Danel Sanini pulled one back for F91 in the 69th minute, but Ahmed Mahgoub restored the four-goal cushion just a minute later.
Viewed as a political gesture, making the symbol is banned by world football authority Fifa. At this year’s World Cup in Russia, Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were fined for making the double eagle gesture in a match against Serbia.
The Wort cited F91 president Romain Schumacher as saying the club had spoken with the players and had been assured that they were not making a political gesture. But several Greeks did post threatening remarks in social media after news broke in local media including Newsbeast in Athens.