Hertha’s Dedryck Boyata either kissed or whispered to teammate Marko Grujic after a goal was scored on Saturday, violating the Bundesliga’s social distancing guidelines for celebrations. (Photo by Thomas Kienzle/Pool via Getty Images)
The Bundesliga will be reminding its teams about the guidelines for safe celebrations this week after several players on Hertha Berlin disregarded them while celebrating goals on Saturday.
The guidelines discourage group celebrations, and instruct players to follow social distancing protocols while celebrating. Hertha players, excited throughout a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim that lifted them out of the relegation zone, either ignored or forgot those guidelines during all three goals.
There were group hugs, and defender Dedryck Boyata even appeared to kiss his teammate Marko Grujic. Boyata denied kissing Grujic, or even celebrating with him at all.
He said on Instagram that he was trying to give Grujic information about a set piece.
Kiss or not, getting that close is still a violation of the guidelines, as are the celebratory group hugs that came after each goal. But after the match, Hertha manager Bruno Labbadia didn’t seem particularly concerned about all the close contact between his players.
“Goal celebrations are part of football,” Labbadia said, via ESPN. “We have been tested frequently and that’s why I believe this should be allowed. It would be a shame if you weren’t even allowed to celebrate, even more would be destroyed.”
Bundesliga CEO Robert Klein didn’t quite agree.
“[There are] clear guidelines. We need everyone to respect them,” Klein said, via the BBC. “In the hygiene concept, the guideline is to celebrate within social distancing rules. One can imagine at the height of a goal being scored that maybe, sometimes, the players get closer.
“The clubs are working actively with the players. They speak to them every day to remind them of what needs to be done to ensure we earn the right to a second match-day and a third and to finish the season.”
The German Football League has said that no Hertha players will be punished for the celebration, as the return-to-play guidelines are not strict rules but are instead meant to advise teams and players.
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