The viral tweet that fooled the world's football media


A tweet explaining Jose Fonte's unusual celebration of Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick goal in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain went viral, with it being picked up by numerous media outlets around the world, but it has been proven to be false.

The video in the tweet showed nearly all of Ronaldo's teammates rush to embrace him, slightly off the pitch where the Portugal star stood.

Fonte was the only Portuguese outfield player that stopped mere metres away from the group, just inside the pitch and applauded, seeming to make a conscious decision not to leave the pitch. 

The video seems to also show one of Fonte's teammates gesturing to him to stay on the pitch. 

The tweet accompanying the video explained: "all Portuguese players were celebrating with him except one who had to stay inside the pitch as FIFA states if all 'outfield players' are off the pitch during celebrations, opposing team can kickoff the game." 

This explanation  was repeated by numerous outlets around the world, including in Australia, however, FIFA rules state no such thing. 

Law 8 in the Laws of the Game explain the rules around kick-offs.

A restart can be taken once all of the following parameters are met:

  • after a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by the other team
  • all players must be in their own half of the field of play
  • the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball until it is in play
  • the ball must be stationary on the centre mark
  • the referee gives a signal
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
  • the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player

So the rules clearly state that all players (11 minus anyone who has been sent-off) must be in their own half.

Presumably, if they were too slow in getting back into their own half, or were deliberately trying to delay the restart, they would receive a yellow card. 

It is plausible that Fonte, or his teammate, understood this supposed rule to be true, which would explain the odd moment, however they have no reason to worry regarding further goal celebrations. 

Source SBS The World Game