Diego Maradona dies: Lionel Messi and Barcelona fined for paying tribute to Argentina legend


Messi was fined 600 euros while his club were to pay another 180 euros, as the Argentina striker paid homage to his late compatriot by taking off his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys shirt belonging to Maradona

Lionel Messi lifted his shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys shirt belonging to Maradona. (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The incident took place in Barcelona’s match against Osasuna on Sunday
  • Messi’s gesture has been praised the world over by fans
  • However, Spanish soccer federation’s showed little sympathy when upholding the rules

Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi and his team were fined a combined 780 euros after the striker lifted his shirt to pay tribute to the late Diego Maradona following his goal in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Osasuna. Messi was also shown a yellow card for his actions.

Messi’s gesture, however, have been praised the world over, with fans arguing that the fine should not have been imposed as it was only meant to be a tribute to one of the greatest footballers ever.

Messi was fined 600 euros while his club were to pay another 180 euros, as the Argentina striker paid homage to his late compatriot by taking off his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys shirt belonging to Maradona.

Yet the Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee showed little sympathy when upholding the rules, rejecting Barca’s protests against the punishment and their suggestion it should be waived as the gesture was a tribute to Maradona.

The committee’s statement said that while it accepted the gesture was a tribute, article 93 of the disciplinary code 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. Messi supports Newell’s Old Boys and played for the club’s junior team before leaving for Barca aged 13. He had also paid tribute to Maradona, who played for the Rosario side in 1993, when the World Cup winner died last Wednesday.

“He has left us but he isn’t going anywhere because Diego is eternal,” Messi wrote on Instagram.





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