This question is based (at least loosely) on events in a recent professional match in Italy (Serie A). Late in a scoreless game, a player scores a goal. In his celebration, he removes his shirt — normally cause for a caution. He then runs to the nearest corner flag, lifts the flag, and waves it in the air — normally a cause for a caution. Should a referee consider these acts to be part of one extended, excessive celebration and therefore caution the exuberant player once? Or should a referee consider this two separate acts, each worthy of a caution? Or something else?

[In the actual game, I’m not sure whether the player who pulled out the corner flag was the goal scorer who had removed his shirt. He was certainly part of a celebratory mob at the corner.)

USSF answer (March 21, 2009):
Unless there is some truly overwhelming reason to send off this person in the hypothetical situation of demonstrating his jubilation at the scoring of a goal, a caution for unsporting behavior should be sufficient.

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