Of the many bizarre things that happen in a football match, possibly the strangest is when players get booked for their over-exuberant goal celebrations. The players all know the rules and should really refrain from picking up these cheap booking. It is almost as if they are protesting against the laws prohibiting them from removing their shirt or jumping in their crowd. The lawmakers do need to examine this as it is a fairly ridiculous situation right now. It is outrageous that the penalty for a player removing his shirt is the same as for a bad tackle.
The current laws mean that the referee has no option but to book a player if he physically celebrated with the crowd or if he removes his shirt. In an age where fans can feel increasingly detached from the millionaires that play for their clubs, it seems sad that this brief moment is now outlawed. Of course there is an argument that it is for the safety of the players and fans, but it still seems harsh to book a player for hugging a fan. The most confusing thing about this particular rule is that if other members of the side celebrate with the crowd in that same moment, they escape punishment and it is only the goalscorer who is booked; the logic behind this is a mystery.
In regards to shirt removal, it is another bizarre rule that prohibits it. Perhaps the administrators wish to prevent players from displaying political messages on t-shirts, but this is rarely the motivation; often it is just an expression of joy at having scored a crucial goal. There is no safety consideration here; the thinking behind the rules is unclear and it seems to be just an attempt to exert control over players’ actions when there is no need to.
Sport is all about emotions, and there are few more emotive things on the football pitch than scoring a goal. Younes Kaboul’s last-minute goal and celebration against Sunderland is perhaps one of the moments of the season so far yet he was cautioned for it. It is a small point, but the restrictions on celebrations should really be removed; players are often accused of not caring enough or putting enough effort in, celebrations can often be a way of showing that they do. As long as nobody is getting hurt, what is the big deal?