Lionel Messi fined €600 for paying tribute to Diego Maradona
First Published Dec 3, 2020, 12:56 PM IST
Diego Maradona passed away last week, at the age of 60, after suffering a heart attack. Maradona was considered one of the greatest legends of Argentine football. Meanwhile, Argentina’s Lionel Messi is rated as one of the greats, having scripted numerous records.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RSFF) has fined Argentine superstar Lionel Messi for the most bizarre of reasons. It was done after the latter had taken off his shirt, during a match, to pay tribute to late Argentine great, Diego Maradona.
Maradona had passed away last week, at the age of 60, after suffering a cardiac arrest. Since then, the football fraternity, across the globe, has been paying tribute to the legend, including footballers, who are doing the same in their own form.
As for Messi, it was during Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Osasuna in the La Liga on Sunday, when after scoring a goal, he had taken off his shirt during his celebration. Underneath his team jersey, he was wearing a red-and-black jersey of Maradona, during the former’s stint with Newell’s Old Boys, as he also blew a kiss to the sky in a mark of tribute to the legend.
Following the game, he also shared a picture of Maradona on his social media. It was captioned “Farewell, Diego” in Spanish.
After the incident, the RSFF imposed a fine of €600 on the club veteran. Besides, the yellow card he received for the episode was upheld by RSFF, while the club, too, was fined €180.
It must be noted that both Messi and Barca can challenge the decision of RSFF. As of now, it is unclear if either of them would.
Also, Messi and Barcelona are ongoing through a rough patch, including the RSFF. Messi had decided to walk away from Barca and La Liga, prior to the start of the season, citing his frustrations at former club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. At the same time, RSFF desperately wanted him to stay, citing La Liga’s popularity.
Nonetheless, Messi’s contract is set to run out at the end of the season. It would be interesting to see if he renews the deal and how Barca, along with RSFF, approach him about it. Meanwhile, English giants Manchester City are the favourites to sign him, since the club is managed by former Barca manager, Pep Guardiola, under whom Messi won two UEFA Champions League (UCL) title.
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