Clarification of Law 12: Yellow Card for removal of jersey

Footballers who remove their jerseys during post-goal celebrations are to receive automatic yellow cards. The modification to Law 12, which was approved last February by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), will come into effect from 1 July, 2004.

The IFAB, the body responsible for the Laws of the Game, decided to add a detail to Law 12 relating to 'Fouls and Misconduct', stating: "A player who removes his jersey after scoring a goal will be cautioned for unsporting behaviour."

So as to avoid any ambiguities and facilitate the correct interpretation and application of the Law, a player will be deemed to have removed his jersey - and therefore become liable for a caution - if the jersey has been pulled over the player's head, or if his head has been covered by the jersey (see illustration -  Removal of the jersey guidelines ). 

Under the section "Additional Instructions for Referees and Assistant Referees", the Laws clearly state: "Removing one's shirt after scoring is unnecessary and players should avoid such excessive displays of joy."

This decision was agreed on at the 118th Annual Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on 28 February 2004 in London, and will come into effect on 1 July this year.