Lionel Messi (L), Diego Maradona (R)
Lionel Messi (L), Diego Maradona (R)

On November 25, legendary footballer Diego Maradona passed away. The world paid the highest forms of tribute to the Argentine football icon who is widely considered one of the best ever to grace the football field.

Lionel Messi, who is considered to be Maradona's successor, also paid tribute to the former footballer by taking off his Barcelona jersey to reveal a Newell's Old Boys shirt belonging to Maradona, a gesture that was praised around the world.

However, Messi was shown a yellow card for his gesture. Although the match official had to book Messi with a 'heavy heart'. Later, Messi and Barcelona were fined a combined 780 euros ($943) for the tribute.

Messi was fined 600 euros while his club was fined 180. The total fine estimates to a whopping 70,000 in Indian rupees.

The Spanish football federation's competition committee, however, showed little sympathy when upholding the rules, rejecting Barcelona's protests against the punishment. The club suggested it should be waived as the gesture was a tribute to Maradona.

The committee's statement said the gesture violates article 93 of the disciplinary code which states that a player should be punished for removing their shirt when celebrating, irrespective of the motive.

The statement added that Messi could only have had the sanction waived if he had been given the booking in error.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal