RFEF will not sanction Barcelona’s Gerard Pique over goal celebration vs. Espanyol
No action will be taken against Gerard Pique for his goal celebration against Espanyol at the weekend, but La Liga has said that similar cases could be punished in future.
Pique scored Barca’s late equaliser in Sunday’s Catalan derby and celebrated by raising his finger to his lips to shush the home supporters.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas indicated earlier this week that there could be a ban for Pique because the celebration could be seen as provocative.
However, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has not taken any action against the centre-back because the celebration was not mentioned in the referee’s report and no complaint has been made to it since.
Espanyol did report Pique for comments he made after the recent Copa del Rey clash between the sides, when he called them “Espanyol from Cornella.”
However, they did not add his celebration or post-match comments in which he said that telling the Espanyol fans to be quiet was the least he could do given insults they had aimed at his family was the least he could do.
La Liga, in its weekly report to the RFEF’s anti-violence commission, said Pique’s celebration was the catalyst for Espanyol supporters taunting him with chants about his family.
“In the 82nd minute, and as a response to the manner of his goal celebration, around 450 home fans chanted insults towards the player and his family for around 12 seconds,” it said.
It added that an indeterminable number of fans then echoed the same song around the stadium, but that until then there had been no derogatory chants about Pique.
In a statement, published on its website, La Liga warned that “offensive goal celebrations which are not reflected in the referee’s report and can generate tension are totally rejected by the league and, from now on, will be forwarded to the RFEF’s competition committee for the appropriate action to be taken.”
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he could not believe the controversy generated by celebration.
“It’s a celebration many players use when they score goals,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“It’s not the first time we’ve seen a player silence a stadium. It’s normal, we’ve seen it happen at Camp Nou before and I can remember a lot of players that have done it at other grounds in La Liga.
“It’s a normal celebration after a goal which earned a draw in the final minutes of a game.
“Pique’s explained that he was fed up with the insults towards his partner and his family.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.