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Question Number: 30811

Law 4 - Players Equipment 9/24/2016

RE: Adult

Haji Hussain Jan of Muscat, Muscat Oman asks...

why player is caution if he removes his shirt while celebrating?
in a substitution, if a player removes his shirt before he has left the field, CAUTION??

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Haji,

The Laws of the Game say that goal celebrations must not be excessive, and then lists types of goal celebration that carry a mandatory caution. One of these is removing the shirt or covering the head with the shirt.

Removing the shirt, when not done as part of a goal celebration, is not a mandatory caution. Depending on the circumstances, I suppose it could be seen as either a form of dissent or unsporting behaviour but in most cases I would say it probably is not either of those things and so would not usually merit a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Haji
Removing a shirt at times other than a celebration of a goal is normally not a caution. There can be occasions when removing the shirt is seen as dissent or perhaps there can be a competition rule that requires that players must wear their numbered shirt at all times in the same way as subs must wear a bib.
So it is up to the individual referee although there can be a cultural dimension of shirt removal as being frowned on. I seem to recall that some countries complained to FIFA about shirts being removed and as it is a world game they were heeded. At the time the law was introduced it had become common place on every goal.
Many laws are aimed at the WC and pro game where they have their origin while some in FIFA /IFAB are very conservative and picky about etiquette and kit. The colour of under garments, tape colour, no one piece kits are all examples of how things look rather than any other reason. Older referees will recall that jerseys had to be tucked in to be acceptable. I personally would not caution a player for a shirt removal at a substitution although I have seen it on the web.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi haji,
the excessive celebration of a goal if in connection with removal of a jersey is stated within the LOTG as a mandatory caution. I tended to think, my wife says this is not my wisest predilection, that certain countries dislike this concept in particularity with woman and applied pressure to have it written into the LOTG. It is of course an opinion if it is disrespectful in mature but it IS a caution where the individual would be shown the yellow card.
It MAY NOT be mandatory to show a yellow card on the substitution but if it did delay the restart or was seen to be a sign of disrespect or dissent one might consider the need to show a yellow card for the conduct.
from our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play!

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