Coach Labbadia appeals for understanding of Hertha celebrations
BERLIN – Coach Bruno Labbadia has appealed for understanding after his Hertha Berlin players broke social distancing guidelines in celebrating goals in Saturday's 3-0 Bundesliga win at Hoffenheim.
"We have to be careful that we do not look like a church choir now," the 54-year-old Labbadia told journalists on Sunday. "It's of course difficult to tell the players we want to have a good game but then there can't be emotion.
"But we will naturally talk with the players about it, that's not in question."
The Bundesliga returned from a two-month suspension enforced by the coronavirus outbreak on Saturday with strict hygiene rules and the recommendation goal celebrations avoid physical contact with team-mates.
The German football league (DFL) said action would not be taken against the team or players involved.
"Hertha have not always scored three goals in the past," said Labbadia who made his debut on the Berlin bench in the win. "There is joy there, that should be seen with a bit of perspective."
Hertha's Salomon Kalou also caused controversy prior to the restart by posting a video from training which showed players ignoring hygiene rules in the changing room. The veteran forward was suspended by the club as a result.