5 of the most controversial goal celebrations in football

Alex Morgan has caused controversy this week with her tea-drinking celebration
Alex Morgan has caused controversy this week with her tea-drinking celebration
Scott Newman
Modified 05 Jul 2019

The celebrations of the USA team during the current FIFA Women’s World Cup have come under fire ever since their first game of the tournament – a 13-0 victory against Thailand – when they were accused of over-celebrating against a hugely weaker side.

This week, it’s been the turn of striker Alex Morgan to be under the spotlight, as her comical celebration following her goal against England – which saw her miming sipping a cup of tea, either referencing the famous Boston Tea Party or poking fun at an English stereotype – has been accused of being everything from disrespectful to racist.

Whether Morgan’s celebration deserved to become such a talking point is highly debatable, but she isn’t the only one in the football world to cause controversy with her post-goal antics. Here are 5 other goal celebrations that caused massive controversy.

#1. Sam Clucas

Sam Clucas
Sam Clucas' celebration apparently referenced a controversial porn website

Both Ellen White and Dele Alli have become famed for using celebrations involving hand-and-eye gestures, but midfielder Sam Clucas found himself in trouble in February 2018 when he performed a similar celebration after scoring a goal for Swansea in a 3-1 win over Arsenal. Clucas ran towards a TV camera and made a “spying” gesture with his right hand that seemed innocuous, but was immediately recognised as being a reference to the logo of a viral pornographic website.

The website – famed for putting together clips from porn videos with a voice-over narrating the action in a thick Yorkshire accent – has been accused of degrading women, and when Clucas’ celebration was linked to the site he was immediately condemned by the media.

The FA stated that they were “looking into” the celebration while Swansea claimed Clucas “wasn’t fully aware” of the internet site and a few days later, the player apologised, putting the whole thing largely to bed.

Strangely enough though, despite the media’s focus on Clucas, he wasn’t the only person to reference the website in his celebration; Southampton players Charlie Austin and Jack Stephens also appeared to mime a similar gesture while boxer Kell Brook also performed it during an interview.

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Published 05 Jul 2019, 18:08 IST
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