Switzerland pick 4 goalkeepers amid World Cup injury doubts

Updated Nov. 9, 2022 6:30 a.m. ET

LUCERNE, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland will take four goalkeepers to Qatar in a World Cup squad named Wednesday with injury concerns over first-choice Yann Sommer and backup Jonas Omlin.

Coach Murat Yakin added Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Köhn as one of two uncapped players in the 26-man squad.

FIFA let teams add three players to the usual World Cup squads of 23 because of disruption to soccer during the COVID-19 pandemic, though teams such as Brazil and Australia already opted to stay with picking just three goalkeepers.

Sommer, who has played 76 times for Switzerland, injured an ankle last month playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach. He has said his prospects are good to be fit by Nov. 24 and face Cameroon in Group G. The Swiss then play Brazil and Serbia.


If Sommer is sidelined, his replacement could be Gregor Kobel who has impressed in the Champions League for Borussia Dortmund including saving a penalty in a 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who now plays for Chicago Fire in MLS, was selected at the age of 31 for his fourth World Cup, matching the record of his former teammate Valon Behrami.

Granit Xhaka will captain the team at his third World Cup, with his total of 106 national-team games just two fewer than Shaqiri.

The other uncapped player is 20-year-old Young Boys midfielder Fabian Rieder, the youngest member of the squad who is selected for the first time.

With four goalkeepers named, the position players squeezed out included Fulham defender Kevin Mbabu and Steven Zuber, the experienced winger now at AEK Athens. They are among 13 players put on standby.

Switzerland lost in the round of 16 at the past two World Cups then broke through that barrier at the European Championship last year.

World champion France was beaten on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw, before the Swiss lost to Spain in the quarterfinals after a 1-1 draw and another penalty shootout.

Switzerland was also grouped with Brazil and Serbia at the 2018 World Cup. Then, the Swiss first drew 1-1 with five-time champion Brazil and beat Serbia 2-1.

The Serbia game is remembered for the provocative celebrations by goal scorers Xhaka and Shaqiri, who both have Albanian family roots. Both were fined by FIFA. In Qatar, the rematch will be in the potentially decisive third round of games.

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



Goalkeepers: Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Köhn (Salzburg), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier), Yann Sommer (Borussia Mönchengladbach).

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Eray Cömert (Valencia), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Fabian Schär (Newcastle), Silvan Widmer (Mainz).

Midfielders: Michel Aebischer (Bologna), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Fabian Frei (Basel), Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest), Ardon Jashari (Lucerne), Fabian Rieder (Young Boys), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Chelsea).

Forwards: Breel Embolo (Monaco), Noah Okafor (Salzburg), Haris Seferovic (Benfica, loan to Galatasaray), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg).


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