Barcelona are facing a fine of up to €3,000 after Lionel Messi took off his shirt to reveal a tribute to his hero, Diego Maradona, in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Osasuna.
Messi slotted home Barca’s fourth goal on the night and took his shirt off to reveal he was wearing one of Maradona’s old shirts from his time with Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, pointing to the number ten on the back as a tribute.
Oh my word…MAGIC from Messi! ?
And he celebrates by revealing a Maradona Newell’s Old Boys jersey under his Barca shirt ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Swreif0daf
The tribute was marred soon after as referee Mateu Lahoz had no choice but to show Messi a yellow card for his celebration as it goes against FIFA’s rules, which state that players cannot lift up or remove their shirt to display any kind of message during a game.
As noted by Sport, any team across the globe who sees their player remove their shirt will face a fine of up to €3,000, and Barcelona will have no choice but to pay up when the Spanish FA collect all fines at the end of the season.
Lahoz was clearly unhappy to have to caution Messi for his tribute to his fallen icon, but he did his best to rectify the situation by immortalising the incident in his match report.
“In minute 73, the player (10) Messi Cuccittini, Lionel Andres was booked for the following reason: For removing his shirt, after scoring a goal, showing a new shirt of the Newell’s Old Boys team, from the 93/94 season, with the number 10 on the back,” Lahoz wrote in his report (via Marca).
Referees are asked to explain their bookings but are never required to go into the kind of detail that Lahoz did here, with the official clearly eager to make sure the act remained part of Spanish football history.
Barcelona will likely not be too bothered by the issue and will instead simply be happy to see the team get back to winning ways.
Having fallen to a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid last time out, Barcelona romped to a victory here thanks to goals from Messi, Martin Braithwaite, Philippe Coutinho and a ridiculous strike from Antoine Griezmann.
The win carried Barcelona up to seventh in La Liga, and Ronald Koeman’s side now sit ten points behind leaders Real Sociedad with two games in hand.