5 Most Controversial Goal Celebrations in Football

Every football player who has scored a goal understands the need to feel celebratory. After all, the road towards scoring that coveted goal is not always easy and smooth. It requires hard work, patience, diligence.

The football fans, however, have seen some of the most talked-about goal celebrations. These celebrations border being disrespectful on the one hand and racist on the other hand. 

Downright controversial they are, here are the five football goal celebrations that caused quite an uproar.

1) Sam Clucas’ hand-and-eye gesture as a reference to a porn site’s logo

These gestures are a staple in the football world, but Clucas’ certainly made the mark. In February 2018, after scoring a goal, he celebrated by putting a “spying-like” gesture with his right hand on his right eye. 

It seemed innocuous at first until the fans and the media pointed out that it resembles the logo of a viral pornographic site. Clucas was clueless as to what he did. 

The Football Association (FA) looked into the matter. Swansea, his team, claimed that the player is not fully aware of the site. Clucas later apologised.

2) Emmanuel Adebayor run the entire pitch length to taunt Arsenal fans

Adebayor used to play for Arsenal before moving to Manchester City through a £25 million transfer fee. 

When he scored the goal, he ran across the field to face the fans hurling verbal abuse at him. In front of them, he slid on his knees and spread his arms. Mayhem followed.

The FA fined Adebayor to the tune of £25,000 and slapped him with a three-match ban for causing what could have been one of the worst public disorder. The commission also acknowledged that the fans were taunting him albeit in a hostile manner.

3) Nicolas Anelka’s seemingly anti-Semitic improvised gesture

Anelka is no stranger to controversy, but his 2013 goal celebration was the most contentious to date. He demonstrated a ‘Quenelle,’ which according to him was devised by his French comedian friend, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala. 

The latter claimed that it was indeed anti-establishment. The moot gesture was perceived as anti-Semitism and even dubbed as the inverted Nazi salute. Anelka denied that he was anti-Semitic.

The FA issued an £80,000 fine along with a five-match ban. It also cost the club a sponsorship, Zoopla, one of the co-owners of which is a Jewish businessman.

4) Paul Gascoigne playing the flute in front of the Celtics fans

Gascoigne chose a flute celebration that angered the Celtics fans at a match at Old Firm Derby in 1998.

Little did the Gazza know that the flute symbolises the Orange Order Marchers of Loyalism, a group of people who protested against the spread of Catholicism in Scotland. It evoked violence with religion as the basis.

The Scottish Football Association fined Gascoigne £20,000 and reprimanded by his club. He also received death threats from the IRA. 

5) Giorgos Katidis doing the real Nazi salute

Katidis made the controversial goal celebration in 2013 after scoring a late winner for his team AEK Athens. Afterwards, he ripped his shirt and did the Nazi salute. Doing it on the very day of Holocaust remembrance was extraordinarily careless.

This became Katidis devastating three seconds in the field as millions of people across Europe were outraged by his actions. He insisted that he did not know the meaning behind the gesture, but nobody believed him.

He earned what he probably deserved for doing it–a lifetime ban from representing his country. 


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Arsenal v Reading Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 25th October by @tashason21

Arsenal v Reading – Emirates Stadium at 19:45

Last weekend I landed both my Asian Handicap betting picks in La Liga and Serie A. Now I turn my attention to the EFL Cup, where I’ve found some value in the game between Arsenal and Reading and I’m hoping my profitable week continues!

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Last weekend The Gunners played out a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Middlesbrough. Some would argue they were even lucky to come away with a point, as Aitor Karanka’s side played incredibly well at the Emirates.

Arsenal are in good form and are currently joint on 20 points with Man City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table. Wenger’s side are 12 games unbeaten and haven’t lost since their 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

Defensively, Arsenal have looked solid too and the recent addition of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia has no doubt added to their stability at the back. The home side have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 games.

In the previous round of the Cup, Arsenal played Nottingham Forest and won by a comfortable 4-0 scoreline. Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a rocket from 30 yards out and a brace from Lucas Perez and 1 goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain topped off the victory.


Asian Handicap Betting Preview

Shkodran Mustafi


Reading were rewarded with a trip to the Emirates as a result of reaching the 4th round of the EFL Cup.

After finishing 17th in the Championship last season, Jaap Stam took over as manager and the signs are now a lot more positive for the away side.

Reading are currently 8th in the Championship table, just outside the play off spots.

Despite having a dip in form recently, they recovered last weekend to beat Rotherham 1-0 away from home. The only goal of the match was scored by Paul McShane. Before last Saturday’s game, Reading were without a win in 4 Championship fixtures (2 losses, 2 draws), but I am expecting a decent performance on Tuesday, as a game against Arsenal doesn’t come around every day!

Reading’s Cup journey has included beating Plymouth 2-0, the MK Dons on penalties (2-2) and Brighton 2-1 in their most recent Cup tie.

With things seemingly on the up for The Royals, who knows what could happen at the Emirates if they put on a good display!



Realistically, Arsenal are by far the better side and taking into account the form they’re in, the home side really should sail through to the next round.

The last time these two sides met in the League Cup was back in October 2012 and an incredible 12 goals were scored that day! The game finished 4-4 after 90 minutes, but Arsenal came away 7-5 winners after extra-time.

On this occasion, I can see Arsenal coming away with a triumphant victory within 90 minutes and therefore I recommend backing the home side -1.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market. An Arsenal win by 2 goals or more would see full profit returned.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -1.5 @ 1.81 with Pinnacle 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @tashason21



Watford v Arsenal Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sat 27th August by @tashason21

Watford v Arsenal – Vicarage Road at 15:00

Watford are in the midst of a tough month of Premier League fixtures and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea last weekend, despite taking the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

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Etienne Capoue scored his second goal in back to back games to give Watford the lead, despite not scoring a single goal for the Hornets all of last season. Watford managed to hold out until the 80th minute of the game, when substitute and new signing Michy Batshuayi equalised for The Blues. Diego Costa then scored a late winner, as he did against West Ham in their opener, following an inch perfect pass from Cesc Fabregas.

The game against Arsenal won’t be any easier for the Hornets, who are looking to avoid ‘Second Season Syndrome’, after an impressive campaign last time round which saw them finish 13th in the leaugue table.

On Saturday however, they face an Arsenal side that are yet to win either of their opening 2 matches.

Watford did manage to pick up a point at St Mary’s on the opening day of the Premier League season, although mid-week suffered a home defeat in the EFL Cup against Gillingham, which saw the players booed off the pitch at full-time.

Walter Mazzarri fully rotated the squad, but even a second string Watford side these days should not have lost against a League 1 club.


Walter Mazzarri

Walter Mazzarri

The Hornets have been very busy this transfer window and on Wednesday afternoon they added another to their ranks, signing Newcastle United’s Daryl Janmaat for a fee of around £7.5m.

Last weekend the Gunners failed to effectively breakdown Leicester and had to suffice with a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium. The match the week prior against Liverpool saw Arsenal suffer an even worse fate, losing 4-3 at the Emirates after opening the scoring through Theo Walcott.

Arsenal’s poor start to their new campaign by their standards comes as quite a surprise in light of their impressive pre-season tour, whereby they won all 3 of their matches, including a 3-2 win over Manchester City.

Perhaps all the criticism surrounding Wenger and his spending policy is starting to affect the players, although now it seems that Arsenal are finally going to get their wallet out and sign Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia) and Lucas Perez (Deportivo), after previously missing out on Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon).

As for the result of this clash, I am expecting Watford to put the pressure on Arsenal and as a result I am expecting a close game with few chances and therefore I recommend backing under 2.5 goals, which looks value at 2.00.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals @ 2.00 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @tashason21.