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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures as he attends a Liverpool team press conference at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade on November 5, 2018, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League group C football match against Red Star Belgrade. / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

WATCH: Jurgen Klopp says Xherdan Shaqiri's omission for Red Star trip political

Liverpool manager Jurgen gen Klopp says he left forward Xherdan Shaqiri out of his squad for the Uefa Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday for political reasons.

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 Russia.

Shaqiri scored the winner when Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 in a group match and made a gesture which appeared to imitate the eagle on Albania's flag. The 27-year-old also had Kosovo's flag imprinted on his boots.

Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of its former southern province Kosovo, whose 1.8 million people are mostly ethnic Albanians, which broke away 10 years ago.

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