Ibe don’t believe it

by Gary Taylor

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Picture the scene…

You are a 15-year-old boy making your first Football League start in front of thousands and you score your first senior goal against one of the top sides in the league to draw your side level.

You sprint to celebrate with your family what must be the best feeling ever and it is spoiled once again by the referee, who splays a yellow card in your face.

This is what happened to Wycombe teenager Jordan Ibe.

I was staggered to see a kid showing unrelenting emotion after scoring his first professional goal being booked for doing so.

What has the world come to?

Emotions run high in football and scoring a goal is the aim of the game. When you do score you are bound to be pleased but you have to curb that enthusiasm now.

Football is turning into a joyless experience for the players who have to act like they have a restraining order against them when celebrating with their own fans – and family in the case of Ibe.

Now, Robin van Persie has also had his brushing the shoulder goal celebration against Chelsea being questioned as being a Nazi salute. It’s madness.

Footballers are not robots, regardless of what some might think.

They should be allowed to show emotion and celebrate what could be a career-changing moment without the risk of being reprimanded by the authorities.

You can understand celebrating a goal in front of opposition fans – like Adebayor against Arsenal – will heighten tension and provoke a reaction.

But surely enjoying a moment of joy with your own followers should not be against the law?

The Ibe booking turned what was a momentous moment into a sad one because the referee has to carry out his duties and book the player.

You see players collecting a second yellow card and being dismissed for taking their shirt off after scoring a goal, something I have never really grasped in all honesty.

But there is no harm in doing so after all they are showing a bit of chest hair not their crown jewels.

It’s time to stop sucking what little emotion there is left in the game and celebrate a wonder strike as it should be – by going bloody mental!

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