LaLiga president Javier Tebas has confirmed that Gerard Piqué's problematic goal celebration in last weekend's Catalan derby will be reviewed by the Competitions Committee. Piqué celebrated his equaliser by putting his finger to his mouth to "silence" the home fans which could be construed as incitement.
Zero tolerance for abuse from the stands, says Tebas
"If the gesture merits punishment, it will be the Competitions Committee which decides; it's an issue which we have passed over to them to study. The rules state that certain ways of celebrating goals could be considered a provocation", Tebas explained during an event at the Museu Nacional d'Art in Catalunya. "I must add that the Espanyol board have done an excellent [in tackling abuse from the stands] and up until the moment Piqué scored, there were no insults aimed at Piqué and his family - which is a separate issue and a major concern for us at LaLiga. A provocative gesture causes a reaction from the public and as far as we are concerned, those kinds of insults will not be tolerated".
Unnecessary way of celebrating
Tebas went on to advise that Piqué "should try to avoid making those kinds of gestures", and added: "There are more acceptable ways of celebrating goals. We've seen this happen before, but it's not often that it's had such a big impact. If it's going to cause offense, then it's wise to avoid celebrating in the way Piqué did".
The president criticized Piqué's post-match comments in which he accused Espanyol of being "detached" from the city of Barcelona. "He was very mistaken on that point. He got his wires crossed a couple of days ago and this time, he was very much in the wrong. I don't think he's a xenophobe though. A club's involvement in any football competition has nothing to do with where their owners may be from".