Granit Xhaka's brother Taulant caught up in bizarre VAR sending off

Granit Xhaka’s brother Taulant caught up in one of the most bizarre VAR moments yet after he is shown a second yellow card for headbutting an opponent… only to be called back onto the pitch to be shown a straight red

  • Taulant Xhaka was shown a second yellow card for headbutting an opponent
  • He was called back onto the pitch only to then be shown a straight red card 
  • Basel player Taulant is the older brother of Arsenal and Switzerland star Granit 

Taulant Xhaka lived up to his brother Granit’s former reputation after he was sent off in Basel’s fiery clash with Swiss rivals FC Zurich.

Taulant, the elder brother of the Arsenal midfielder, was one of four players to be sent off as Basel suffered a 2-0 on Sunday.

However, it was Xhaka’s sending off which was comfortably the most bizarre of the match, and perhaps the most unusual since the introduction of VAR – leading to the incident going viral on social media. 

The fact that he was sent off came as no surprise after he was shown his marching orders for two yellow cards – the second for a headbutt to Zurich player Nikola Katic’s chest – similar to Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

But as the Albanian international marched down the tunnel, to his delight, he was called back onto the pitch – only to then be shown a straight red card.   

Granit Xhaka’s brother Taulant was called back from the tunnel after being shown a second yellow card – thinking he had been let off after headbutting an FC Zurich player

However, the referee had in fact been informed that it was a red card offence (left) and told him to go back down the tunnel after only just calling him onto the pitch (right)

VAR had determined the headbutt was a straight red card offence rather than a yellow, but for a brief moment the 32-year-old would have been excited to get away with what appeared to be an obvious sending off.

Xhaka was furious at what happened as he threw up his arm in the air after he was effectively shown his marching orders for the second time in a matter of moments.

His younger brother Granit, also had a reputation for showing a lack of discipline and hothead moments. 

Since joining Arsenal, Granit has been shown the red card on five occasions, while receiving a whopping 79 yellow cards. 

However, to his credit, he has toned down those hot-headed moments with no red cards so far this season with just eight yellow cards in 44 games.

Taulant Xhaka meanwhile took to Instagram following the game to apologise for losing his temper and explain what happened.

He wrote: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to apologise in all form for my suspension from last night.

Taulant’s younger brother Granit (left) had a well-known reputation for showing a lack of discipline during several hot-headed moments during his career

Taulant apologised on social media following the incident to the supporters of Basel

‘You know me as an emotional player. As someone who does not hold back, who gives everything for his colours on the pitch.

‘And we players, too, are flesh and blood people who react emotionally in certain situations.

‘At the same time, no verbal insults on the field, against me and my family, justify such a blunder on my part.’

He went on to say: ‘I can’t undo what happened last night and I will of course face the consequences for not being able to control myself for a brief moment.’

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