Tim Cahill Could Face FIFA Investigation For Celebration Promoting TripADeal
Australian Tim Cahill’s goal celebrations "are well known around the footballing world, but his latest effort could land him in hot water" with FIFA, which may investigate what appeared to be a "sponsored" celebration, according to Mike Hytner of the London GUARDIAN. An investigation "could be opened into suggestions Cahill was paid to promote" online travel agency TripADeal after scoring an extra-time winner against Syria. Cahill's celbartions have "prompted scrutiny from the world governing body." After the ball hit the back of the net, Cahill "eschewed his usual box-the-corner-flag celebration," instead opting to outstretch his arms, "in what appeared to be a physical interpretation of an aeroplane." He then made a T sign with his hands. While there is "nothing specific" in FIFA regulations relating to a player "using body parts to promote sponsors, Law 4 on players' equipment states a player will be sanctioned if they remove their jersey to reveal slogans or advertising." Using gestures "to make political points is also outlawed" under FIFA's disciplinary code. The laws of the game state that disciplinary sanctions are the responsibility of the competition organizer "and that the referee will include details in the match report." A FIFA spokesperson said, "FIFA is reviewing and analyzing the reports from the referees and the match commissioners for all matches in FIFA competitions" (GUARDIAN, 10/13). The BBC reported Football Federation Australia said that it has "not been contacted about the matter." Cahill's celebration "has generated much discussion in Australia," where sports writers have said that Cahill "blew an iconic Australian football moment" and "held the pose long enough" to make it "conspicuous" (BBC, 10/13).
'BAD LOOK': NEWS.COM.AU reported former Socceroos captain Paul Wade said that Cahill’s controversial goal celebration against Syria was "unacceptable for two reasons." Wade said that Cahill's "T" celebration "crossed the line on what was acceptable." But he said that Cahill’s "greatest sin came" when the player "pushed away teammate Nikita Rukavytsya as the substitute tried to hug him" and then ran toward the corner post with his arms stretched in his "now-famous" airplane celebration. While pushing off teammates to take center stage during a goal celebration "is commonplace in world football, Wade said it is a bad look." FFA said that it "will not be taking any action against its superstar striker." FFA added that it has not been contacted by FIFA in regards to Cahill’s celebration. An FFA spokesperson said, "We don’t believe Tim’s breached any laws" (NEWS.COM.AU, 10/14).
TO A T: In London, Samuel Lovett commented "yes, football really has reached its zenith." It has been "100-odd years in the making" but we have "finally perfected the game down to a T," and we have Cahill "to thank for it." Against a team that "defied its war-torn background to come within reaching distance of the World Cup and, in doing so, serve a timely reminder of the sport’s capacity to uplift and inspire," Cahill brought his "own special touch" to the celebrations. Cahill’s celebration "will come as nothing new to those fans who, over the decades, have watched their game morph" into something unrecognizable from when they "first took to the terraces to watch the 'proper men' in action" (INDEPENDENT, 10/15).