Canberra: FIFA is investigating Australian forward Tim Cahill for a “sponsored” goal celebration following his match-winning header against Syria.
Football’s governing body confirmed on Friday that it is investigating whether Cahill, 37, breached sponsorship rules when he celebrated his extra-time winner, his second goal of the match, by making a “T” with his arms in Tuesday night clash, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a social media post which has since been deleted, Australian online travel agency TripaDeal posted a photo of Cahill celebrating his goal, his 50th for the Socceroos, with the caption: “Did you catch Tim Cahill, our new brand ambassador, doing the … ‘T’ after he scored the winning goal last night? Congratulations Tim!”
Cahill replied to the post before posting on his own social media and tagging the company, confirming their partnership.
FIFA said: “FIFA is reviewing and analyzing the reports from the referees and the match commissioners for all matches in FIFA competitions. Events which require further attention may be communicated accordingly.”
In 2012, Danish striker Niklas Bendtner was fined $100,000 dollars for exposing underwear made by one of his personal sponsors when celebrating a goal in international competition.
The FIFA investigation capped off one of the most dramatic weeks in Australian football history.
Cahill’s brace of headers on Tuesday booked Australia’s place in a 2018 World Cup playoff with Honduras which has been set for November.
The morning after the match, in which underdogs Syria took the lead within 10 minutes, Australian media reported that Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou was set to resign in November regardless of whether the team qualified for the World Cup or not.
The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) did not confirm or deny reports of Postecoglou’s resignation, saying the focus was on the upcoming World Cup playoff.