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Most Extreme Reasons for Footballers’ Bans

  • Sometimes footballers can get a red card and a ban for strange reasons
  • Like Neymar who was sent off after a goal celebration
  • While Luis Suarez received a six-month ban after his third biting incident
most extreme reasons for footballers' bans

The goalkeeper of Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon received a one-match ban for blasphemy after he used a bad expression towards his teammate. It is an unusual reason for missing a game but in the history of football there have been other similar cases. Let’s see some of the most extreme reasons for footballers’ bans. 

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After getting a red card, footballers receive automatic bans which means they have to miss at least one game. Usual reasons for a red card include two bad fouls or one really bad one, getting into a fight with other players or heavily arguing against the referee’s decisions. But sometimes stranger things can also happen on the field also ending with the suspension of the player. Like it happened with Buffon whose blasphemous expression was overheard and recorded in a Serie A game. In Italy, this kind of behavior is a serious offense and means a ban for all participating players. You think it’s ridiculous? Well, have a look at the following list which include even weirder reasons to ban a player. 

Most extreme reasons for footballers’ bans

7. Throwing a coin 

Jamie Callagher is usually a very calm player. But even he lost his patience in an FA Cup game between Liverpool and Arsenal in 2002. Two Arsenal players had already been sent off in the game when an Arsenal fan hit Carragher with a coin. Probably due to the heated atmosphere the defender threw the coin back in the direction of the Arsenal stand. The referee saw the incident and judged it as a serious offense. So Carragher was also sent off with a red card. He received a  £40,000 fine from his club, Liverpool. And a three-game ban from FA for one of the most extreme reasons for footballers’ bans.  

6. Booking the referee 

Paul Gascoigne was a very colorful player in English football who often made jokes during the games. Like he did in a match between Rangers and Hibernian in 1995 when the referee, Dougie Smith dropped his yellow card. Gascoigne picked it up and showed it to referee. Just like he was booking him. It must have been a funny moment but the actual referee didn’t laugh at it. Instead he gave a yellow card to Gascoigne which was his 10th card in the season. Which meant a ban for the English international for the next two games. Gascoigne was part of the English team in the Euro 1996, which reached the semi-final on home soil. Online sportsbooks in the UK predict an even better performance from the team now in Euro2020

most extreme reasons for footballers' bans
Paul in 2006 – Image source: Ross Hawkes, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Pushing the referee 

Italian Paolo Di Canio was often involved in fights but he went even further when he pushed the referee to the ground. It happened in a Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal game in 1998, after a mass brawl erupted between the players. Di Canio took a huge part in the fighting and got his red card rightly so, but the forward just couldn’t handle it. He pushed the referee in the chest who fell to the ground as a result. The player received an 11-game ban and a £10,000 fine from FA following his behavior. His actions were not tolerated at his club either and he moved to West Ham soon after. Di Canio’s former team, Sheffield Wednesday are last but one in the Championship this season. Online gambling sites in the UK offer the odds of 1.12 for their relegation. 

4. Fighting with your teammate

Fights can erupt during a heated game between players from different teams after a bad tackle. But hitting your own teammate is a rather strange thing to do. Newcastle players Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer did just that in a match against Aston Villa in 2005. Dyer became very angry after Bowyer didn’t pass the ball to him and punched his teammate. They started to fight until their teammates managed to separate them. Both players got a red card but they continued their argument in the tunnel. Their manager challenged them to a fight, which both players refused. They still had to serve a three and four-game ban following their dispute. The reason behind this incident actually went way back. As the team had a very poor season, making Dyer and Bowyer so frustrated that they just couldn’t handle it anymore. 

3. Suarez and his biting habits

Luis Suarez is a fantastic player with a super record in his career. But surely there are lots of people who remember him more about his biting incidents than his performance. The first one happened in 2010 when Suarez was a player of Ajax. In a game against PSV, the forward bit into Ottman Bakal’s shoulder. He got a seven-game ban for it but didn’t serve it after joining Liverpool. Where he had a similar act against Chelsea player Branislav Ivanovic three years later. This time his punishment was a 10-game ban. While his latest and hopefully last biting was committed in the 2014 World Cup when he sank his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini. The Uruguayan received a four-month ban during which he couldn’t even train with his new club, FC Barcelona or visit any stadium. 

2. Neymar and his goal celebration

Another extreme reason to get a ban was a goal celebration by Neymar back in 2011. The Brazilian superstar still played at home at Santos when he celebrated his goal against Colo-Colo by wearing a facemask of himself. The masks were distributed by one of Neymar’s sponsors for the fans and one of them handed it to the striker after his superb goal. It wasn’t a great decision though. As Neymar got his second yellow from the referee for his joke and was sent off. Everyone from his team protested against the decision and eventually four more red cards were shown. 

most extreme reasons for footballers' bans
Let’s dance – Image source: Flickr

1. Edin Dzeko pulled his opponent’s shorts down

And staying with childish behaviors, Edin Dzeko was also rewarded with a red card in a World Cup qualifier between Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016. The Bosnian forward fought along Greek defender Sokratis Papasthathopoulos during the game. At one of these fights Dzeko went down to the ground and kept the ball. The Greek player tried to get the ball from him when the forward suddenly pulled down his shorts. Both players got a red card from the referee just like the technical staff from both teams. The game ended with a 1-1 draw after Greece managed to equalize in the injury time. 

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