Bundesliga accepts a kiss is just a kiss after Hertha's close encounter

Hertha Berlin boss Bruno Labbadia defended his players after they celebrated in close proximity, though the DFL will not sanction them.

Dedryck Boyata and Marko Grujic celebrated in close proximity   -  Getty Images

The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed players will not be sanctioned if they do not socially distance when celebrating goals.

Questions over the issue arose after Dedryck Boyata appeared to plant a kiss on the cheek of Hertha Berlin team-mate Marko Grujic during the 3-0 win at Hoffenheim as the Bundesliga returned to action.

The act seemed incongruous considering mask-wearing substitutes were sitting significant distances apart from one another along the sidelines.

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Germany's top tier resumed on Saturday after a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other players kept their distance after scoring during fixtures, while some touched elbows.

However, there will be no repercussions should team-mates decide to celebrate as normal because the DFL only provided recommended guidance on the matter.

A DFL spokesperson said: "The celebration of the players is not part of the medical organisational concept of 'Task Force Sports medicine/Special league operation', which was added to the DFL rulebook on Thursday. 

"Regarding goal celebrations, they only gave advice as orientation in addition to the concept - therefore sanctions are void."

The DFL had earlier presented the German authorities with a 51-page document, which convinced the federal government and regions that football could be allowed to resume behind closed doors.

In an accompanying document sent to clubs, the DFL said hugging and hand contact in celebration of goals should be avoided and that preference should be given to “elbow or foot contact”.

Hertha's win came in Bruno Labbadia's first game at the helm and he defended the actions of his players.

"Celebrating goals is part of football. We have been tested so often that I think you can allow it," Labbadia said. "It would be a shame if you weren't allowed to celebrate any more.

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"I hope people out there understand it. It is just a recommendation [from the DFL] to hold back.

"We have tested negative six times, most recently on Friday. Emotions are part of the game, otherwise we don't need to play it."

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