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Can players over-celebrate?
If you scored the crucial winner in the final minute or banged in a 30-yard screamer how would you react?

A cartwheel perhaps, a wave to your friends in the crowd or maybe a simple high-five with your nearest team-mate.

Chelsea's Arjen Robben is probably checking the rule book after his dismissal against Sunderland.

The Dutch winger scored the winning goal in their 2-1 victory, only to receive a second yellow card for jumping into the crowd.

Even Robben's boss Jose Mourinho said: "He will not do it again. He cannot celebrate with the fans when he scores a goal."

So how much can a player celebrate?

Fifa's rules state that:

  • While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.

    Fifa directives also discourage the practice of choreographed celebrations when it results in excessive time-wasting and referees are instructed to intervene in such cases.

    Although it is not a cautionable offence in itself to leave the pitch to celebrate a goal, it is deemed essential that players return to the field as soon as possible.

    Interpretation is the name of the game, with referees expected to act in a "preventative mode" and to exercise "common-sense" in dealing with a goal celebration.

    Fifa rules state that a player must be cautioned when:

  • In the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative derisory or inflammatory

  • He climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored

  • He removes his shirt over his head or covers his head with his shirt

    Referee Chris Foy at the Stadium of Light clearly felt that Robben overstepped the mark by celebrating with the Chelsea fans.



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