The Spanish Football Federation has come under fire for fining Lionel Messi 600 euros (AU$980) for his touching tribute to Diego Maradona.
Just days after Maradona’s passing, the Barcelona megastar scored during his side’s 4-0 win over Osasuna in La Liga.
And to pay homage to the legendary Argentine footballer, Messi celebrated his goal by taking off his Barca jersey to reveal the iconic red-and-black strip of Newell’s Old Boys.
Maradona spent a season with the Argentine club during the twilight of his career.
But the significance and direct link being that Messi actually started his footballing journey as a youngster with Newell’s Old Boys back in 1994 when Maradona was strutting his stuff for the first team.
Images and video of Messi’s touching gesture spread like wildfire on social media as he received glowing praise from football fans all over the globe.
But while some looked upon the act fondly, others didn’t.
As a result of his celebration, Messi was fined by the Spanish Football Federation.
A mere 600 euros shouldn’t dent his wallet too badly, but that’s besides the point.
Whether it was 6, 600 or 60,000 euros, Messi shouldn’t have been fined in the first place in eyes of many.
On top of that, Spanish officials also held Messi’s employer accountable and fined Catalan giants Barca 180 euros (AU$294) for the yellow card their main man received.
The questionable move has seen the sport’s governing body cop plenty of backlash.
And while the idea that “rules are rules” still applies, surely a bit of leeway wouldn’t have gone amiss given the circumstances