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Reports: Klopp Considering Dropping Shaqiri From Belgrade Visit

Reports: Klopp Considering Dropping Shaqiri From Belgrade Visit

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, whose independence is not recognised by the Serbian government, and is a point of contention in many eastern European countries.

Shaqiri was fined 10,000 Swiss francs by Federation Internationale de Football Association for celebrating by forming a double-headed eagle with his hands - as represented on the flag of Albania, who fought against Serbia in the Kosovo war - and sparked a complaint from the Serbia FA for sporting a Kosovo flag on his boots.

Liverpool make three changes for tonight's Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Monday that he had not been in contact with his former assistant manager Zeljko Buvac to discuss Liverpool's Champions League opponents Red Star Belgrade.

"It's a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football", Klopp told Liverpool's official website. That's why we are here, to play football.

Liverpool will also be without club captain Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne due to a hamstring issue and illness respectively, but Naby Keita and Dejan Lovren could feature.

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Shaqiri and Arsenal's Granit Xhaka both did the nationalist hand gesture to celebrate their goals in Switzerland's 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia.

Why is the Shaqiri situation politically charged?

Shaqiri, an ethnic Albanian of Kosovar heritage, would have faced the prospect of a hostile reception from Red Star fans for the way he celebrated a goal at this year's World Cup in Russian Federation. We want the focus to be on a great game of football, free from anything else. "We have no political message, absolutely not", Mr Klopp said. "So, for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this", he added, BBC reported.

However, the German will have been delighted to have received a timely boost ahead of the game with two of his key players set to make a return.

"We are from Liverpool, we know how big the influence of atmosphere can be", said the Reds boss, whose side comfortably won 4-0 against Red Star at Anfield a fortnight ago.

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