• Spain's news in English

Footballer fined for child cancer support message

Steve Tallantyre · 20 Feb 2014, 10:57

Published: 20 Feb 2014 10:57 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

When Real Jaén centre-forward Jonathan Megía Ruiz – better known as Jona – scored against league rivals Unión Deportiva Las Palmas on Saturday, he had already prepared a special celebration.

Underneath his official team strip, the player was wearing a t-shirt on which he had used a pen to write the words "Courage, little ones. International Childhood Cancer Day," in support of the global campaign which was taking place on the same day as the match.

The striker, who has already scored 12 goals this season, wanted to encourage people to donate to the cause.

But his gesture led to a contribution of a different kind when he was fined €2,000 by the Spanish  Football  Federation, according to Spanish daily 20 Minutos.

"I'm surprised because my only objective was to support children on International Childhood Cancer Day, which was also happening last Saturday, February 15th," he said on Wednesday.

"They called me to tell me they'd fined me, then the club confirmed it," said the Malaga-born player who holds a Honduran passport and could play for that country in the forthcoming World Cup.

Article 91.1 of the Federation's rules states: "Any player who, while celebrating a goal or for another cause related to the match, lifts his shirt to display any publicity, slogan, acronym or drawing, regardless of the nature of their contents or goal of their action, will be sanctioned as the author of a serious offence and fined with a sum between €2,000 and €3,000."

The clause has been criticized by some fans who claim that it "dehumanizes" the sport.

Story continues below…

Barcelona star Leo Messi was once fined under the same regulation for revealing a "Happy Birthday, Mum" message.

But there may be hope for Jona.

José Callejon fell foul of the law in 2010 after showing a t-shirt dedicated to the memory of his  deceased teammate Dani Jarque, but his fine was overturned by an appeals committee who decided that the action "should not be the subject of a disciplinary procedure" because of its "exceptional nature" and the fact that it was "not intended to publicize anything or send a political or religious message".

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available