When Goal Celebration goes Wrong
Football tends to be one of the most (if not the most) exciting sports on earth and we can tell that by the number of fanbase and supports it earns all over the world. For a player in the pitch, it's never an easy task to scale through walls of midfielders, defenders and the goal-keeper to have the ball in the net. Of a truth is calls for lots of celebration. Goal celebration is the practice of celebrating the scoring of a goal. Celebrating goal in sports has become a very crucial aspect of sports. To tell how classic it has become, The Mirror and ors have reported that many goal celebrations have been immortalized.
The immortalization of goal celebration became obvious when a player scored an extra-ordinary goal, and is conscious to display stunts and postures repeatedly. Some of the footballers with immortalized goal celebration such as in statue (Thierry Henry), advertisements (Ronaldo), postage stamps (Pelé), magazine covers, or in video games: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi among many others (Source).
Celebration of goal is often performed by the goalscorer and often joined by teammates, coach, manager, other staff of the team and even fans (spectators). Even those watching the match on television and other media usually join to celebrate the goal scored by their favourite player or team. There is an awkward story of a family that celebrated a goal scored by his country team in a World Cup tournament.Out of excitement, the man who was with a baby threw up the lad and the lad got wounded by a rotating ceiling fan. This is one of the ways that goal celebration can go bad.
Footballers and other sports athletes have different ways and styles of celebrating their goal scoring. Some of the common goal celebration stunts include player removing their shirt or performing a somersault, a group hug of the players on the pitch with the scorer underneath, scorer running to corner flag, the players jumping on each other's shoulders, the scorer putting an index finger to his lips, as if telling the (opposition) crowd to be quiet, the scorer standing with one of his hands holding the flagpole while screaming. Other celebration actions according to Wikipedia include:
- the scorer turning his wrist near his ear, this is usually done while running,
- the scorer performing some kind of acrobatic routine after the goal,
- the scorer diving onto the grass with arms and legs outstretched.
- the scorer walking or running away in a nonchalant style with a "cocky" smirk as if to say, "I'm the best, that was easy, etc.
- the scorer kissing the ring finger,
- the scorer sliding on his knees,
- the scorer outstretching both arms and running straight.
- the scorer putting the ball underneath their shirt to indicate the pregnancy of a loved one.
- the scorer putting his hands behind his ears as if to listen to the reaction of the crowd more.
- the scorer removing his shirt,
- the scorer picking up the ball and running to the centre circle to put the ball down on the spot,
- the scorer pulling his shirt over his face
- the scorer reacting with their mouth as wide open as possible
the scorer kissing the club/national badge on his or her shirt, to show his or her love and loyalty for the club/country.
Which ever mode the scorers and other players choose to celebrate their goals, care is needed as it may go sour at some point, even could lead to a tragic death as was recorded for Peter Biaksangzuala, an Indian player who suffered spinal injuries during an attempted back somersault while celebrating a goal in 2014. This led to the outlaw of somersault goal celebrations by FIFA.
During the 2018 World cup, there were restrictions placed on players' celebration of goals. One of such is that a player should be cautioned for removing their shirt in celebration. It is also important to note that some gestures during goal celebrations could spice ethnic, racial and even political defiant. Moreso, it could be considered as being a way to delay time excessively.
The body states that "players can celebrate when a goal is scored, but the celebration must not be excessive". It adds that "choreographed celebrations are not encouraged and must not cause excessive time-wasting."
I've witnesses several times in our local football when a goal celebration led to an instant end of the game untimely. Besides, others have incurred injuries that kept them off the football pitch for several months and weeks.
It is very crucial to understand that goal celebrations have emotions attached and if not well managed can become tragic. Some jumps and somersaults are quite dangerous and may results in hard falls, bone sprain or strain.