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Crossed hands (gesture)

2019-08-01 21:04:03

The crossed hands gesture is a hand signal that denotes Albania in International Sign.[1] Known as duart e kryqëzuara (crossed hands) in Albanian, it is sometimes referred to as the "eagle gesture" and is a symbol used by ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and other regions of the world where Albanians live. It is meant to visually illustrate the double-headed eagle, the main image on the Albanian flag.[2] The symbolism of the double-headed eagle among Albanians encapsulates their ethnicity and flag, viewing it as a symbol that represents ethnic-Albanian people across the globe.[1]

This gesture is often performed by players of the Albania national football team to celebrate a goal or at the end of a victorious game.[3] It has also been used by some ethnic Albanians playing for other teams.[4]


This gesture resembling the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag is sometimes viewed as alluding to the Greater Albania irredentist concept.[5][6][7]

2018 FIFA World Cup

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Albanian Kosovan-born Swiss players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, both ethnic Albanians, performed the gesture in a match against Serbia and were subsequently fined by FIFA "for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play".[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b Kokobobo, Ani (July 2, 2018). "For Albanians, it's not just an eagle. Here's the deeper story on those World Cup fines". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ "Shqiponja, simboli i flamurit tonë, me famë botërore, interpretohet dhe në duart e afrikanëve, shoqëruar me "grimca" lumturie në fytyrë". SOT News (in Albanian). 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Festimi me gjestin e "Shqiponjës" kthehet në modë". Gjuha Shqipe (in Albanian). 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016.
  4. ^ "World Cup 2018: Fifa investigates Switzerland duo over goal celebrations". BBC News. 23 June 2018. Archived from the original on 24 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Izmir Smajlaj claims Albania's first ever European indoor gold medal". Tirana Times. 6 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Switzerlands two main force is afraid of being banned by FIFA for 2 games, celebrating political provocation for disputes". jqknews. 24 June 2018.
  7. ^ Brown, Cy (28 June 2018). "World Cup 2018: 15 Goals That Defined The Group Stage". Forbes.
  8. ^ Rumsby, Ben (28 June 2018). "Switzerland trio escape bans for Albanian eagle salutes". The Telegraph.
  9. ^ Lovett, Samuel (25 June 2018). "World Cup 2018: Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri avoid bans after political goal celebrations". The Independent. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  10. ^ "World Cup Mystery Solved: What was the hand gesture made by the Swiss goal scorers?". Retrieved 2018-12-10.