Dedryck Boyata, the Hertha Berlin defender, has escaped punishment for planting a kiss on his teammate Marko Grujic’s cheek to celebrate a goal in their 3-0 Bundesliga victory over Hoffenheim on Saturday.
The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed that maintaining social distance during matches — especially during goal celebrations — is only a recommendation and will not be enforced by the threat of punishment.
“On the subject of goal celebrations, it was something that was merely advised in the guidelines — sanctions are therefore not necessary,” a DFL spokesperson told German media.
Hertha won the match 3-0. After Hoffenheim’s Kevin Apkoguma put the ball in his own net to make it 3-0 in the 58th minute, Boyata pecked Grujic on the cheek, breaking the social distancing rules that have been in place worldwide since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
The Bundesliga became the first league in Europe to resume action following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Five matches were played on Saturday with Borussia Dortmund recording a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Schalke 04 at the Signal Iduna Park.