Hugging football players threatened with yellow card in Belgium
Share article:
Share article:

Hugging football players threatened with yellow card in Belgium

Credit: Virginie Lefour/Belga

Football players who hug each other on the pitch while celebrating a goal or a victory could soon get punished by a yellow card for it, as it violates Belgium’s coronavirus measures.

On Wednesday, the Board of Directors of the Belgian Pro League (the top league competition for association football clubs in the country) will discuss whether the referee can punish such group hugs with a yellow card.

The continued jumping in each other’s arms and hugging fellow players on the field has sparked a lot of criticism in Belgium, as the coronavirus measures dictate that everyone can only have one so-called “cuddle contact.”

Questioned about the hugging athletes on Flemish television on Sunday, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated that the rule says it is not allowed. “I ask the football association to be a little stricter about that,” he added.

Related News:

 

“We certainly understand the concerns of the population,” Stijn Van Bever, communications manager of the Pro League, told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“We should avoid hugs and collective celebrations after a goal as much as possible,” he added. “We are also going to underline that with the different clubs again.”

On Monday, CEO of football club RSC Anderlecht, Karel Van Eetvelt, already commented on the criticism players received on Twitter.

“Complete understanding that hugging on football fields evokes criticism,” he tweeted. “We should be setting an example.”


The club asked the Board to discuss the behaviour, according to Anderlecht’s spokesperson Jan Gatz.

“We want to include in the Rules of Procedure that those who do not comply with the measures risk a yellow card. This will be discussed with all clubs tomorrow,” he said.

However, coming to a decision will not be easy, according to Van Bever of the Pro League.

“Such a yellow-card system is easier said than done,” he said. “Where do you draw the line when a goal is being celebrated? What if players are celebrating on the bench? Do you give them a yellow card too? We have to find a way to work this out, so that it is feasible for everyone.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...