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Swiss squad announced for football World Cup in Qatar

Swiss star players Granit Xhaka (left) and Xherdan Shaqiri, pictured here in 2014, have been named in the experienced squad travelling to Qatar Keystone / Thanassis Stavrakis

Murat Yakin, manager of the Swiss national football team, will lean on experience at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

This content was published on November 9, 2022 - 12:11
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On Wednesday he named several veterans, including Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, in a 26-man squad for this month’s tournament.

Four goalkeepers are on the list, including first-choice goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who is currently injured.

Inspirational but injury-prone winger Shaqiri, who plays for Chicago Fire in the US, will be taking part in his sixth major tournament, having appeared at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups as well as Euro 2016 and 2021.

About half of the squad named on WednesdayExternal link have played in at least three finals, including Arsenal midfielder Xhaka, expected to be named captain.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Gregor Kobel, Yann Sommer, Jonas Omlin, Philipp Köhn

Defenders: Manuel Akanji, Eray Cömert, Nico Elvedi, Fabian Schär, Silvan Widmer, Ricardo Rodriguez, Edimilson Fernandes

Midfielders: Michel Aebischer, Xherdan Shaqiri, Renato Steffen, Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria, Fabian Frei, Remo Freuler, Noah Okafor, Fabian Rieder, Ardon Jashari

Forwards: Breel Embolo, Ruben Vargas, Djibril Sow, Haris Seferovic, Christian Fassnacht

End of insertion

The 2022 World Cup will be a first for Michel Aebischer, Fabian Frei, Ardon Jashari, Philipp Köhn, Noah Okafor, Renato Steffen and Fabian Rieder. The two main absentees from the list are Kevin Mbabu and Steven Zuber.

“We were spoilt for choice in certain positions. Many players have performed convincingly in recent weeks and months. But ultimately I had to limit myself to 26 names. I’m convinced that these 26 players can help us achieve our goals at any time,” Yakin said, who himself made 49 appearances for the Swiss national team.

When it comes to Swiss winning chances, the bookmakers have Switzerland in the middle of the 32-team table at around 100-1External link to lift the trophy. Brazil are favourites.

Controversial choice

The Swiss football federation said the squad would fly to Qatar on Monday, then two days later move to Abu Dhabi for a final warm-up game against Ghana, a potential round of 16 opponent.

Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup, but the small nation has come under intense pressure for its treatment of foreign workers and restrictive social laws.

Even former FIFA president Sepp Blatter says giving the tournament to Qatar was a mistakeExternal link.

The country’s human rights record has led to calls for teams and officials to boycott the tournament, which takes place from November 20 to December 18. Switzerland’s three group games are against Cameroon on November 24, Brazil on November 28 and Serbia on December 2.

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