Referee exercise common sense in booking player for Goal Celebrations: Faisal

Lahore, 17 October: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat have instructed Referees to book only those players who celebrate excessively after scoring a goal in Pakistan Premier Football League and PFF League. Booking a player for simple goal celebration is quite pointless and invariably leads to players being shown a yellow card or even a red card if it is the second caution of the game.

“While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive like New Zealand’s Winston Reid who picked up a yellow card for an exuberant shirtless celebration doffing his shirt upon following his goal with a ferocious header during added time against Slovakia in 19th World Cup match at Rustenburg on 15 June 2010.

In same way, Andres Iniesta’s World Cup-winning goal in the 116th minute of Spain-Netherlands final at Johannesburg on 11 July 2010 was definitely cause for celebration.

He removed his jersey (which cost him a yellow card) to reveal an undershirt that read, ‘Dani Jarque seimpre con nosotros’ (Dani Jarque, always with us).

Jarque was a close friend and fellow Spanish soccer star who died last year after suffering a heart attack at the age of 26.

Reasonable celebrations are allowed, but the practice of choreographed celebrations is not to be encouraged when it results in excessive time-wasting and referees are instructed to intervene in such cases, “said Faisal who visited South Africa to adjudicate Disciplinary Cases of World Cup South Africa 2010 as Member of FIFA and World Cup Disciplinary Committee detailed for this historic mega event.

Celebration of a goal is part of Law 12 of Fouls and Misconduct and a player must be cautioned if in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative, derisory or inflammatory, he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored, he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt, he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item.

Also AFC Disciplinary Committee Chairman, Faisal said: ”Booking a player for goal celebration is one rule that the majority of football enthusiasts would like to see scrapped. Leaving the field of play to celebrate a goal is not a cautionable offence in itself, but it is essential that players return to the field of play as soon as possible. Referees are expected to act in a preventative manner and to exercise common sense in dealing with the celebration of a goal”.

German spearhead Miroslva v Klose, having 14 goals in World Cup, and Obinna Nsofor of Nigeria, celebrated their goals by somersaulting. There are many ways of celebration with Jurgen Klinsmann started the scorer diving onto the grass with arms and legs outstretched and the scorer sliding on his knees, made famous by former Yugoslavian striker Dragan Mance.

The scorer running away from teammates who wish to embrace or congratulate him. A giant group hug of the players on the pitch with the scorer underneath, or the players jumping on each other shoulders.The scorer banging with a fist on his chest. The scorer kissing the badge on his shirt, to show love for his team. The scorer putting a finger to his mouth, as if telling the (opposition) crowd to be quiet.

The scorer walking or running away in a nonchalant style with a “cocky” smirk on their face as if to say “I’m the best, that was easy,etc.” Another adaptation of this involves the scorer standing still and turning or looking around with the said look. Former Norwegian striker Jan Åge Fjørtoft introduced the scorer outstretching both arms and running around changing the angle of arms mimicking an airplane. The scorer kissing the ring finger. The scorer sucking his thumb as a tribute to his children. The scorer rocking his arms from side to side, as though rocking a baby, made well-known by Brazilian striker Bebeto (joined by teammates Romário and Mazinho) at the 1994 FIFA World Cup after his quarter-final goal against the Netherlands. The scorer pointing towards the sky to thank God . The scorer putting his hands behind his ears as if to listen to the reaction of the crowd more.

This is usually done when a player is getting booed during the game and then scores, or if a player returns to score against his former club. The scorer exhibiting some kind of dancing after the goal, usually joined in by teammates. The first player gaining worldwide notoriety with this was Roger Milla in World Cup 1990 who celebrated all his four goals by dancing around the corner flag. The scorer imitating to shoot with some kind of weapon,either aiming towards the sky or to some other virtual target.Teammates congratulating to the scorer by kneeling down and pretending to shine his shoe.

“When the ball hits the back of the net the supporters feel sheer joy and elation and that is putting things mildly. If it is like that for the football fans then it must be an even better feeling for the player himself. Football players are human beings rather than robots who are devoid of any feelings. It is a purely instinctive reaction that is perfectly natural and harmless. It is part and parcel of football wherever it is played in the world,”concluded Faisal