A Brazilian footballer has been banned for eight games for celebrating a goal by stripping naked on-field. Emerson Carioca's unconventional celebration last December during a match also sparked a brawl on the field.
The incident happened in December when Carioca's club Sampaio Correa was playing against Marica. He took his jersey off and dropped his shorts after he scored a goal that sent his club into the Carioca Championship, which is Rio de Janeiro's annual football competition. Carioca waved his genitals at the rival team's players resulting in an on-pitch riot between the two clubs.
Following an investigation into the matter, a disciplinary panel said that Carioca's behavior violated "sports discipline or ethics." According to Globo Esporte, the league found that Carioca not only participated in "any conduct contrary to sports discipline or ethics," he also took part "in a brawl, conflict or turmoil, during a match." Consequently, he was given an eight-game suspension. Carioca's new club Portuguesa do Rio reportedly appealed the decision.
The 25-year-old apologized for the incident, but defended his actions saying that it was a response to the racial abuse was subjected to by Marica's players and coaches in recent matches. A video of his nude celebrations went viral on Twitter.
"Marica's people have been slandering me for the past three matches I've played against them. They've called me a slob, an alcoholic, and a fat monkey. I was annoyed at what went on," he said. "I want to ask forgiveness from Sampaio Correa's fans, my teammates, and also Marica's fans, players, and everyone who loves football."
This is not the first time a football player took stripped naked on the field to celebrate. In 2017, Norwegian footballer Aleksander Melgalvis Andreassen took off his clothes and covered his genitals with the trophy after his club Lillestrøm won the Norwegian Cup for the sixth time. While actions received widespread criticism, Melgalvis said he did not regret going naked during the celebration. However, he apologized for the incident.
"I'll admit that and apologise, but it is not something I regret," he said at the time. "I can understand [that some people didn't like it]. Should I apologise to the king? Well, I was very privileged to say hello to the king yesterday, so maybe I should apologise today."