A Paraguayan footballer is facing stiff punishment after exposing part of his penis during a goal celebration last week. Raul Bobadilla, a 33-year-old striker for Club Guarani, scored a late goal to give his club a 3-2 aggregate victory over Libertad in a cup tie.
The head of Paraguay’s football association (AFP), Dr. Raul Prono, said that an inquiry was underway and that Bobadilla has been informed of the decision. He noted that though the official did not make any notes of the celebration at the time that it happened, the organization was able to get information from online images and videos of the incident itself. The player has three days to offer a defense before a judgment is officially made.
Because it took a while for the AFP to open the inquiry, Bobadilla — who removed his jersey and partially pulled down his shorts during the celebration — will not have to miss his club’s next cup match, which is set for Wednesday. The punishment itself will have to wait until 2021, after the results of the inquiry become official. What also helps Bobadilla’s chances to play is that he was not punished on the field for what he did. If he was shown a red card, for example, the resulting suspension would be immediate.
Bobadilla, who previously played for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga, addressed the issue after the match.
“I regret my celebration last night, I hope my wife has not seen it because she is going to catch me,” the striker told the media in Spanish. “My pants went a bit — what the el Pollo did was different — my lady to stay calm, because it is all hers.”
The “Pollo” that Bobadilla is referring to is another Paraguayan player, Jorge Recalde, who had a genital-based celebration earlier this year that led to a four-game suspension and a fine. His celebration was reviewed officially by VAR and resulted in a red card, so unlike Bobadilla, he faced his punishment immediately. The difference in punitive approach from the AFP has upset fans of the club Olympia, who Recalde plays for.