Nemanja Matic explains why he will not wear poppy on shirt

Nemanja Matic says he will not wear a poppy on his Manchester United shirt because it reminds him of when his village was bombed when he was 12. The bombing, in 1999, was part of a Nato-led offensive to drive out Serbian forces from Kosovo. Matic was the only United player not wearing a poppy during their 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday. The Serb, 30, released a statement on Instagram in which he said he respected the right of people to wear poppies. But he said he would again not wear…

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Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Red Star Belgrade game in Serbia

Liverpool have left Xherdan Shaqiri out of their squad to face Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday because they want to “avoid any distractions” that may be caused by the midfielder’s Albanian heritage. Shaqiri, 27, is an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population ended with Nato military intervention in 1999. After scoring for Switzerland against Serbia this summer, he celebrated by making a double-headed eagle gesture, which symbolises the Albanian flag. He was fined £7,632 by Fifa for the celebration, which…

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