Too harsh?

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One of the most ecstatic moments of a game is when a player scores a goal to win his team a game. These moments cause players to celebrate with joy and, in some cases, remove their shirts. However, doing so, irrespective of the situation, invites a yellow card. In fact, some days ago Amad Doalo was sent off after scoring in the final minute against Liverpool in the FA Cup. He was already on a yellow card before he scored the goal.

This has remained one of the most bizarre rules, and it looks like it will be around for a while. While there may not be much logic behind the rule, there is a huge logic behind using Sportsbet, one of the best platforms for using crypto to bet on a variety of sports.

So, why can’t players take off their shirts in football?

FIFA explanation 

According to section 12 of the FIFA rules, players can be given a yellow card for “removing the shirt or covering the head with the shirt.” The major reason for this is that the act is considered ‘unsportsmanlike.’.’ There are other explanations for why players get cautioned for the act. One of them is that taking a shirt off causes a waste of time, prompting a delay in restarting the game.

Another explanation is that players usually wear vests under their shirts, and they could write messages or advertise something that would harm the brand of the footballing body, the club, or both. In one such incident, Xherdan Shqiri got shirtless before doing the eagle celebration in the Euros after scoring against Serbia which caused heated excahneg between him and the Serbian players.

While players usually take off their shirts for the right reasons, like paying tribute to a player or friends, the rule is kept to deter someone from displaying political messages.

What could be the actual reason?

There has been no confirmation, but the major reason why taking off a shirt is banned is because of sponsors. A match usually has the highest viewership when a goal is scored. Goals are also the centre of attraction when the highlights of the game are uploaded. And taking off a shirt means that the millions of people watching the moment will not get to see all the sponsors that the shirt has.

We must remember that sponsors pay millions of dollars to have their name written on the club’s jersey, and when a player takes off his shirt at a pivotal moment, the sponsors deem it a huge marketing opportunity missed.

A great example could be Lionel Messi lifting the FIFA World Cup while wearing a Bisht, a traditional men’s cloak worn in Arabic countries. The moment garnered both positive and negative views, but in the end, everyone started talking about it, which garnered a lot of interest in the cloth.

So sponsors realise the importance of how a moment can be beneficial for them in marketing.

Famous incidents of players taking their shirts off

One of the best moments of a player taking his shirt off remains Sergio Kun Aguero after he scored in the dying minutes of the game to win Manchester City their first Premier League title. Mario Balotelli’s celebrations against Germany in the 2012 Euros is one such moment.

Diego Forlan also did the same after scoring his first goal for Manchester United. However, after scoring the goal, he removed his shirt but couldn’t get it back on properly. This meant that he played for a minute without wearing his shirt properly.

This prompted FIFA to make the rules stating that without jersey number it was difficult for a referee to recognise a player and also the actions wastes precious time in a game.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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