Should players be booked for celebrating?

I recently saw a discussion on the BBC Sport website that was looking at the rules of football and which ones you would like to change. This got me thinking about some of my own grievances with the law makers that govern the sport and so I decided to outline my views on why certain aspects should change and why others should remain untouched. In this article I will look at players receiving yellow cards for over the top celebrations.

 

My view.

This rule should definitely be removed as far as I’m concerned, or at least amended. Initially the law was introduced to prevent players from displaying religious, political or offensive messages written on shirts worn underneath the playing jersey. However, whilst this was a sensible idea to stop non-sporting views from infiltrating the game, the law now seems to apply to anyone that is deemed to be celebrating ‘excessively’. Who, and how, are they deciding exactly what constitutes such behaviour?

If a player has scored in the final minute of a match to win a game then I don’t think it is unreasonable for him to pull off his shirt and run towards the celebrating fans, if he so chooses. However, if the incident was to happen in the first minute then perhaps there is an argument that it is excessive, as there is still plenty of time left on the clock. The problem with celebrations is that there are so many factors that influence each occasion that it has become a very grey area to manage. At the moment it is an automatic yellow card regardless of the offence, but I would like to see some more common sense being applied by referees and understanding the importance, or not, of a particular goal.

Fans love to see players showing emotion and nothing gets them showing this better than the ball hitting the back of the net. The authorities need to be careful not to remove the passion from the game, as this is what makes football so glorious in the first place!

Verdict.
Book a player for displaying a message on an undershirt, but not if he just wants to show some emotion and gets carried away in the moment.

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