The day that Diego Forlan changed an entire regulation

Written by El-Khoury

There are footballers who have made history for their incredible goals, their magic, and the moments when they left all the fans’ speechless. In this category Diego Forlan is also listed.

A footballer with an appeal to score goals, something that he proved to us mainly with his presence in Atletico Madrid. And yet Forlan is also in another category worth mentioning. The category with the footballers who “forced” FIFA to amend due to the regulation. And yet, even if it sounds unbelievable, one action by the Uruguayan striker (when he was playing for Manchester United), is the reason that footballers who celebrate their goals by taking off their jersey when they score.

New Manchester United signing Diego Forlan stands with manager Alex Ferguson
The “Cachavacha” of Manchester United

Looking at his all-time story, we don’t need to go too far back. Our present story took place in 2002, when Forlan wore the “Red Devils” jersey. To put it bluntly, the Uruguayan striker never managed to bond with Manchester United team. On the contrary, he was disappointed with his appearances. Diego was permanently in the shadow of Van Nistelrooy and so his opportunities to show himself were limited. He scored some impressive goals but at the same time encountered many missed opportunities and therefore “stuck” with the nickname “Cachavacha”.

The moments of magic

However, the characteristic of Forlan were the moments of magic. The Characteristics that showed the world that the “Gods of football” provided him with incredible talent. On November 2, 2002, Manchester United faced Southampton. The scoreboard was 1-1 with Diego having a great feeling they would win. A lightning shot gave his team the lead. The 23-year-old Forlan then enjoyed the game with his soul. It was a goal that he really needed. He was looking for a big goal to convince people of his worth, but also to prove to himself that he could play in the Premier League and Manchester United.

A shirt that took a long time to wear

During the celebrations, he took off his shirt and began to live every second. At that time, when a footballer was taking off his shirt it did not punish him with a yellow card. But Diego exceeded his limit. The game started again, and he was still holding the shirt in his hand. And while one of Southampton’s players tried to attack and score, Forlan ran to mark him with the shirt in his hand. In fact, he managed to win the specific duel. But what the Uruguayan did not know was that this action would lead FIFA to change their rules.

Manchester United’s Ruud Van Nistelrooy celebrates with winning goalscorer Diego Forlan
And regulation 12 was made

Forlan’s action put FIFA in thoughts. It was not possible for a half-naked footballer to participate normally in the match, the people of the football world federation noted. So about 2 years later, in the summer of 2004, FIFA reached a decision that still has fanatical fans against it. Now every football player who would take off a shirt would see a yellow card. “A player who takes off his shirt after scoring a goal will be penalized with a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct. The removal of the jersey after a goal is considered unnecessary and the players must avoid such excessive actions of joy “. With the above excuse, FIFA brought to our lives the 12th regulation. In fact, according to the regulation, the removal of the jersey includes the cases where the football player covers just his head with his shirt. Since then, every shirtless celebration is punished with a yellow card.

Their Background, marketing, and religions

The truth is that no fan has ever been convinced of the need for this regulation. Most of the fans found the decision inappropriate and considered it another action just to receive money. And why is this? Quite simply, the sponsors of the teams always want their logo to appear. After all, they pay for it. So, the theories that want the biggest football sponsors to have put their hand for approval of this decision were not long to arrive. On the other hand, some argue that FIFA has considered the religions of Muslims in particular, who consider it a great insult to see topless footballers.

Against the messages

But one of the main reasons for the approval of this regulation, as the World Federation points out, is that it does not want football to develop into a messaging platform. And yet if there is logic to political messages, we have players who created messages of support and pure love but also those who sent a message of hate and racism therefore we cannot accept it. For example, how can Iniesta see a yellow card in the 2010 World Cup final because he celebrated without a shirt, dedicating his goal to Espanyol’s attacker Daniel Harker who passed away? Why did Aganthos see a second yellow card when he dedicated a goal to a young fan of the Aris team family who got lost prematurely?

The regulation has changed, but the questions are there. A celebration without a shirt usually sends a message to a loved one and is not considered unnecessary. Football is an emotional sport to and when a footballer celebrates without a shirt it causes an urge of excitement in the stands. If we do not talk about cases with messages of humanity, then in the spirit of the law, there must be some flexibility with this law. Something that so far has not been done in a bad manner except a few cases.