June 14, 2024

Reasons why players get booked for taking off shirts

3 min read

Players usually get booked for taking off their shirts while the match is on play on the pitch, irregardless of their motive.

It is a common sight seeing players celebrate with their shirts off… especially when a footballer scores a really big goal for his team, one that is certain to get them the result they are yearning for. 

The most obvious way to celebrate, then, becomes the one way the rule books don’t allow you to celebrate.

When a player takes off his shirt, he will receive a yellow card by the referee. 

This is according to Law 12 set by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). 

The IFAB believes that goal celebration should not be excessive, and taking off your shirt is considered an excessive celebration.

Reasons why football players get booked for it


One of the main, if not the main, reasons why players are booked for removing their jerseys is that it obscures the sponsor’s name. 

For obvious reasons, the cameras pan to the goal scorer during these moments, which are perhaps the most photographable moments of the contest.

The sponsor’s name is not visible if he is not wearing his team’s shirt. 

That appears to be a disappointment for corporations that spend a lot of money to have their logo placed on the front or sides of shirts.

Time wasting

Taking off your shirt, throwing it on the pitch, and then putting it back on can take a long time.

However, this is probably the least crucial and significant factor. After all, it doesn’t take much more time to take it off and put it on.

Political messages

Some players may take off their shirt to reveal an undershirt with a certain message. 

Some may be personal, but others may be political as well.

So far, there have not been many undershirts that have extremely provocative messages.

If players’ undershirts had such provocative messages, it may spark lots of controversies. As such, it may be logical for FIFA to curb such messages.

Aggression from opposition fans 

Another way players get a yellow card for taking a shirt off in football games is that is instigates aggression from opposition fans that see it as a sign of disrespect. 

Apparently, getting semi-naked on the pitch is treated as a potential instigator for brawls on stands. 

Players may send personal messages

In a Euro 2012 match between Denmark and Portugal, Nicklas Bendtner lifted his shirt and pulled his pants. 

He revealed Paddy Power underpants, which was seen as a marketing ploy.

Bendtner was fined €100,000 and banned for one match.

Also read,

Russia FA hits out at FIFA and UEFA after the ban

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