Coronavirus: DFL will not sanction players for goal celebrations in Bundesliga

By Sports Desk May 16, 2020

The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed players will not be sanctioned if they do not socially distance when celebrating goals.

Questions over the issue arose after Dedryck Boyata appeared to plant a kiss on the cheek of Hertha Berlin team-mate Marko Grujic during the 3-0 win at Hoffenheim as the Bundesliga returned to action.

The act seemed incongruous considering mask-wearing substitutes were sitting significant distances apart from one another along the sidelines.

Germany's top tier resumed on Saturday after a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other players kept their distance after scoring during fixtures, while some touched elbows.

However, there will be no repercussions should team-mates decide to celebrate as normal because the DFL only provided recommended guidance on the matter.

A DFL spokesperson said: "The celebration of the players is not part of the medical organisational concept of 'Task Force Sports medicine/Special league operation', which was added to the DFL rulebook on Thursday. 

"Regarding goal celebrations, they only gave advice as orientation in addition to the concept - therefore sanctions are void."

Hertha's win came in Bruno Labbadia's first game at the helm and he defended the actions of his players.

"Celebrating goals is part of football. We have been tested so often that I think you can allow it," Labbadia said. "It would be a shame if you weren't allowed to celebrate any more.

"I hope people out there understand it. It is just a recommendation [from the DFL] to hold back.

"We have tested negative six times, most recently on Friday. Emotions are part of the game, otherwise we don't need to play it."

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    It will be the first time United have played three league games in five days since April 1992. On that occasion, they beat Southampton 1-0 at home before drawing at Luton Town and then suffering consecutive defeats to Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Liverpool. They ended up losing the title to Leeds United by four points.

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    Solskjaer is concerned about a repeat of the results they suffered 29 years ago and is eager to make sure his players do not become burned out.

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