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Granit Xhaka has hit out at the Swiss FA’s Secretary General after he ‘disappointed dual citizens’ with recent comments claiming that players should have to drop their second country to represent Switzerland.
Alex Miescher caused something of a stir on Friday when he claimed that players who had dual citizenship would not be as willing to fight until the end for Switzerland, suggesting they should bin their second country if they were opting to represent the Swiss.
“One might have to ask: do we want dual citizens?” Miescher said in interviews with Tages-Anzeiger.
“There should be a plan where players with several nationalities could be tied to the Swiss national team at an early stage. It’s an idea that has grown in me…The events with the double eagles have shown that there is a problem.
“We hear many promises. And then the player turns 21, and decides for another country because he sees greater chances for international appearances,” said Miescher.
“I find it shocking that we have no leverage there. Such a player has taken away a very valuable, expensive training place…Maybe we could say that the doors to funding programs are open only to junior players who do not have dual citizenship.”
He added: “Today, we benefit from the strength of our national team. But if Bosnia, Croatia, Albania and certain African countries were present at a future World Cup, we could have trained many players for other nations.”
Granit Xhaka, as you know, is one of these dual citizens and he didn’t take Miescher’s comments too well.
“Even during the World Cup and after my double-headed eagle gesture, Alex Miescher approached us, assuring us that he would do anything to protect us – and then, three days after we left, such statements came from him,” Xhaka told Tagblatt.
“I hear from his lines that he does not trust double citizens to go to the borders for Switzerland. This goes directly to the address of me and a few others with two nationalities. It sounds to me as I said as if I and my colleagues in Swiss dress would not go to the limit.