Why does a player get carded when celebrating a goal?

A goal in soccer is like a shooting star. It’s so exciting to see one, but it doesn’t happen very often. And because of that, a player who scores a goal wants to celebrate and enjoy the moment when the net ripples. Unfortunately, FIFA decided to squash celebrations and allowed referees to penalize players who celebrate with a yellow card. Why?

Players removing their shirts after scoring has been considered unsportsmanlike behavior by FIFA for quite some time. However, it was left up to the referee to actually penalize players. FIFA changed the law in 2004 mandating referees to give a yellow card to players who remove their shirts while celebrating goals. FIFA also mandated referees to give a yellow card to players who climb or jump over the perimeter fence of the field.

I know why FIFA was trying to prevent players from climbing or jumping the perimeter fence of the field. They were hoping to limit the number of injuries that occurred when fans rushed toward the players. But does anyone get hurt from players removing their shirts?

There have been instances where players had some sort of writings underneath their shirts. Usually, these writings were geared toward their families, a love note to a wife or the name of a newborn child. I don’t recall anything negative ever being seen, unless you want to consider the joke played by Landon Donovan of the U.S. National Team when he had a woman’s sports bra underneath his shirt!

There will always be players who take celebrations to the extreme. But there is a fine line between an honest celebration of a well deserved goal or a mocking of an opponent. Why punish those players who have broken through the net’s atmosphere and created a rippling effect that can be seen and heard for miles?

Do you think FIFA is right in penalizing a player who celebrates a goal? Please leave your comments below!

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