Saido Berahino Booked for Tribute to Deceased Father After England U-21 Goal

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterNovember 15, 2013

Saido Berahino was controversially booked after scoring for England U-21s in their 3-0 victory over Finland on Thursday night, after lifting his shirt to reveal a tribute to his father, who recently passed away.

As you can see in the video above, the West Bromwich Albion forward revealed a slogan which read: "RIP, love u dad."

The referee in the UEFA U-21 Championship qualifying match, Italian Paolo Valeri, saw fit to book Berahino.

Sentiment notwithstanding, the FIFA rules appear clear enough on this:

A player removing his jersey or shirt to reveal slogans or advertising will be
sanctioned by the competition organiser. The team of a player whose basic
compulsory equipment has political, religious or personal slogans or statements
will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by FIFA.

Despite this, there was strong reaction against the decision, with 101 Great Goals describing it as a "disgrace."

For his part, U-21 manager Gareth Southgate said he had not even been aware of the booking until Berahino apologised to him at the interval.

In quotes picked up by Sky Sports, Southgate said:

He is a good player, a good finisher and a pleasure to work with. He has got a desire to improve all the time and he is a terrific goal threat for us.

I hadn't realised he had been booked until he came and apologised at half-time. I couldn't quite work out what he was apologising for.

The rules are what they are and again that is something we've got to learn. Hopefully it won't be too costly for us.

I think it was a personal thing that he had done it for, but had I have known I would not have let him go out there with that on his shirt.

Berahino shot to prominence early this season after his goal against Manchester United, and has been tipped by some as an outsider bet to make England's squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.