A footballer in Argentina's lower leagues was booked recently after celebrating a goal by jumping into a pitch-side ambulance.
Mariano Gorosito was so overjoyed at scoring in Club Lujan's 4-0 win over Argentino Merlo that he ran off the field, climbed into the front seat of the parked vehicle and pretended to drive it away, much to the confusion of the driver.
Original, you have to say, but the forward's ingenuity was not appreciated by the match referee. Gorosito was customarily booked for his troubles once he returned to the pitch.
We've grown used to seeing silly yellow cards for over-exuberant celebrations in recent years, and maybe it is not the game's biggest injustice, but do the rules really prohibit players from hijacking emergency service vehicles?
It turns out Gorosito may have grounds for complaint.
Under Law 12, a referee must caution a celebrating player if:
- in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative, derisory or inflammatory
- he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored
- he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt
- he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item
Leaving the pitch is not cautionable in itself but players must "return to the field of play as soon as possible" and referees must intervene if "excessive time-wasting" occurs.
It does not, at any point, say you can't hijack an ambulance, but that's not much use to Gorosito.
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