Piquionne deserved to go

by Big Fidge

Monday, January 24th, 2011

‘It’s disgraceful,’ came the calls.

‘The law needs to be changed,’ yelled others.

Nope, not the laws that allow an innocent man be persecuted by the national media because he likes art and stuff and used to have blue hair, but Frederic Piquionne’s sending off against Everton at the weekend.

The Frenchman – already on a yellow card – ran into the crowd to celebrate his 84th minute goal and was booked for his over-exuberance.
And deservedly so. Not because ‘it was the letter of the law’, but because it was the right thing to do.

You can understand his excitement. Coming so late in the game, the goal could have been a winner and could have lifted West Ham out of the bottom three.
However. Piquionne didn’t just celebrate in front of his fans, he left the field of play, leapt a barrier and jumped into his grateful supporters.

Remember, he only received a booking for the offence. It just happened to be his second.

His manager Avram Grant described it as a joke. No, you’re wrong. Gazza getting booked for booking the ref after the official dropped his cards is a joke. What Piquionne did was far worse.

Imagine it this way instead. After enduring several years of mismanagement at board and pitch level, watching prima donna footballers earn as much in a week as you do in two or three years put in less effort than James Corden at Weight Watchers and seeing your side rock bottom of the Prem, you still decide to fork out for the trip from London to Merseyside to see your beloved Hammers take on Everton.

It’s a tight encounter. But with six minutes to go, Frederic Piquionne scores. He runs towards where you’re standing, but not only that, he leaps over a barrier to celebrate even nearer you.

Well, if he can do it, why can’t you? You leap over the barrier to celebrate with him.

Piquionne is sent off and gets a short ban. You, the long-suffering fan, are taken away by the police and could find yourself banned from attending professional football matches for life.

Players are entitled to celebrate their goals, but what Piquionne did – and players like Adebayor and Gascoigne with his flute celebration in Scotland as well in the past have done – is incitement.

He was lucky just to get away with a booking.

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  • gary

    The player jumped an advertising hoarding, not a barrier.
    He ran to his own fans and stood in front of them.
    This happens every week at grounds up and down the country, amazingly fans don’t get life bans or taken away by the police.

  • Hammered

    You must be just an arm-chair fan then… What a load of crap you are talking about. This rule is garbage, plain and clear!!! I can understand a rule against incitment (running close to the opposing fans), which this rule is clearly trying to address, but celebrating in front of your own fans shouldn’t be included in the rule. For you to think this kind of rule should be allowed in football shows you obviously don’t fully understand the game and what it means to people, hence me calling you an arm-chair fan!!!

  • LVM (WHU)

    Are you Sepp Blatter in disguise or just another armchair fan? As someone else wrote somewhere else (and now here): “Piquionne did not jump into the crowd, he stood in front of them on the right side of the barrier, all he’d done was jump the advertising boards”.

    You see these celebrations all the time, and I bet that you would never see Gerrard or Rooney get a booking for doing the same thing – especially not their second booking! This sorry rule should be removed from the books – the sooner the better – and the double standards should end.

    It’s about passion and joy in the game and it’s one of things that makes our sport so good. I guess that’s one of the reasons why celebrations like Piquionne’ are often featured in commercials for football. It’s one of the things that “sells” in football.

  • gt

    8 WHUFC players jumped the barrier along with Piq but the ref booked the only one who had a previous booking. I understand the rule (however poor it is) and can accept the ref using it, but he failed to do so for the other 7 players, therefore it was a nonsense.

  • Big Fidge

    Hammered – celebrating in front of your own fans is fine, but do it from the pitch. There’s no need to jump the barrier (definition – a structure or object that impedes free movement – in this case an advertising hoarding). And he didn’t just stand in front, he grabbed a hold of those at the front, and they grabbed him back.

    LVM (WHU) – Sepp Blatter? That’s just out of order! Passion is great. But maybe he should have saved it until his side had achieved something, like a win. West Ham would not have drawn with 11 men on the field.

    gt – You make a sound point. Any West Ham player who left the field of play should have been booked.

  • LVM (WHU)

    Big Fridge, we might just have to disagree on this. I think the rule is stupid and damaging for the game. I think that there is a very clear line between harmful incitement and players passion to the benefit of the fans and the game.

    If you don’t have any better arguments for the rule, then I have a hard timing seeing you as much different than Sepp Blatter and the rest of the outdated FIFA/UEFA lepricons (sorry about that btw).

    That we would probably have taken three points if Piquionne had kept his head cool, is not an argument for the rule in itself. I think you’ll find plenty of Everton fans who think this too – even if it went in their favor this time.

  • LVM (WHU)

    Actually one of my best footballing memories came after a simular situation, in a game that my local Danish team had to win to have a chance of promotion. In that game the oposing team – and massive underdogs – equalized in the 4th minute of overtime. Of course they ran to their fans and celebrated wildly – only reason why the ref put an extra 30-40 seconds on the clock. We kicked of and immediately got a free kick in the middle of the field. Everyone runs into to the box, a long ball goes in… get’s half cleared… get’s kicked in again and we scored to 2-1 in the 5th minute of overtime. Even more wild a crazy celebrations followed.

    Both teams and sets of fans experienced both ends of the high-and-low-scale of football passion within two minutes. This is something that everyone there (especially the fans of my club) will remember for the rest of their lifes… and this wouldn’t have happend with your FIFA rules…

  • gt

    Sepp Blatter can actually stay out of this one. As mentioned widely in the media; this is not a FIFA rule, but an FA one. This is only a bookable offence here!

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