According to rules, a player should be booked if he takes his jersey off while celebrating a goal.
So when Nathan pulled his jersey off to show a t-shirt with Chapecoense’s club badge on it, you would expect he’d be punished – regardless of the meaning behind the tribute.
Chapecoense were struck by tragedy this week when a place heading for Colombia crashed, killing 71 people on board – including 19 members of the team and coaching staff.
They were travelling to Colombia ahead of their Copa Sudamericana final first leg against Atletico Nacional when the devastating accident occurred.
The whole world has been paying tribute to those affected by the plane crash, including Nathan – and it’s great to see the referee showing some compassion for an emotional tribute:
Nathan, jogador do Chelsea emprestado ao Vitesse, marcou e homenageou a Chapecoense. Sabendo da situação, árbitro não deu o cartão amarelo. pic.twitter.com/gZq1sZjCCq
— Info Cartola (@info_cartola) December 4, 2016
Speaking after the match, referee Jochem Kamphuis, per goal.com, said: “According to the rules I have to give him a yellow card, but I decided that I would not do that anyway.
“I think everyone understands that it’s such a terrible event. It is special for the boy [Nathan], that he can score today. Could I really give him a yellow card?”
You have to give huge credit to Nathan for the tribute, but also to the referee for realising that an already ridiculous rule shouldn’t be enforced in a situation like this.