Liverpool have omitted Xherdan Shaqiri from their Champions League squad travelling play against Red Star in Belgrade.
Liverpool have taken the conclusion due to the potential for the presence of Shaqiri, who is of Kosovan-Albanian culture, to increase the Serbian club’s supporters.
Kosovo is an ex- Serbian province and Serbia does not identify its independence.
Shaqiri and Switzerland team-mate Granit Xhaka caused argument at the World Cup in Russia after making an Albanian nationalist eagle symbol with their hands after scoring against Serbia.
The duo, who are both of Kosovan-Albanian culture, received a formal warning from FIFA and were charged 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,633) for unsporting behaviour.
Shaqiri had formerly stated he had no worries over travelling to Serbia but Jurgen Klopp has omitted the 27-year-old from his squad for Tuesday’s match.
“It’s a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football,” said Klopp, in a statement on Liverpool’s website.
“We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all.
“We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team but we don’t have any message further than that. We have no political message, absolutely not. We want the focus to be on a great game of football, free from anything else.
“We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions that would take focus away from a 90-minute-plus contest that is important for football and only football.
“So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.”
Jordan Henderson will also miss the match as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, but Naby Keita and Dejan Lovren are coming back to the squad after injury.
Liverpool top Group C ahead of second-placed Napoli, with Red Star presently bottom – having gotten just one point from their opening three matches.