Rules to change after Indian footballer dies from fatal goal celebration? Here's what Fifa says
All he wanted was to celebrate scoring a goal with a somersault.
But 23-year-old Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala died from severe spinal cord damage after the celebration went awry.
The Bethlehem Vengthlang FC midfielder Peter Biaksangzuala died on Sunday (Oct 19) at a hospital in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram.
His tragic death has raised the question whether the rules should be changed to curb excessive celebration.
FIFA however has said that any additional measures curbing goal celebrations would have to be approved by soccer’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
“This is a tragedy and we are very concerned about this incident,It is the responsibility of IFAB to rule on amendments to the Laws of the Game” - FIFA in a statement to Reuters
FIFA added that any national association can propose a change to the rules, and the suggestion must be submitted by Dec 1 to be considered at IFAB’s next annual general meeting.
The laws of the game currently stipulate automatic yellow cards if a player removes his shirt, covers his face with a mask, makes a provocative gesture or climbs a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal.
The laws also states: “While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.
Biaksangzuala celebrated by executing a somersault after scoring the equaliser against Chanmari West FC last Tuesday.
He landed awkwardly and was unconscious, as his team mates surrounded him and gestured for help.
He later succumbed to his injuries.
"We are shocked by the case. We at the Mizoram Football Association did all we could but could not save him,” MFA secretary Lalnghinglova Hmar told Reuters by telephone.
The association president, also the state health minister, said he did all that was possible.
"We considered the option to fly him to Delhi but his condition was pretty bad. He was mostly unconscious, occasionally spelling out a few words,” Hmar said.
Bethlehem has decided to retire the number 21 jersey as a tribute to Biaksangzuala while Hmar said MFA would organise a match in his memory.