Were Brazil really as disrespectful as Roy Keane has claimed?

So, were the boogying Brazilians out of line? MARTIN SAMUEL insists their celebrations were fantastic and life-affirming… but ROGER ALTON says it was nothing but showing off and FIFA should take action!

  • Brazil thrashed South Korea 4-1 in the World Cup Round of 16 on Monday night
  • Each goal they scored was accompanied by exuberant dancing celebrations
  • The celebrations generated much debate as Roy Keane labelled it ‘disrespectful’
  • As a result, Sportsmail experts debate whether or not Brazil were disrespectful 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Brazil turned on the Samba style on the pitch as they demolished South Korea 4-1 in the World Cup Round of 16, scoring four first half goals in what was a showpiece of scintillating football.

They also turned it on off the pitch, as each goal was matched by equally exuberant celebrations, with Brazil coach Tite even joining in after Richarlison netted the Selecao’s third.

However, their dancing celebrations have caused huge debate, with ITV’s Roy Keane labelling Brazil ‘disrespectful’.

In light of that, Sportsmail experts Martin Samuel and Roger Alton discuss whether Brazil were within their rights, or if they were really as disrespectful as Roy Keane claimed.

Brazil turned on the samba style as they thrashed South Korea 4-1 in the World Cup Round of 16

Roy Keane labelled their dancing celebrations after each goal they scored as ‘disrespectful’

First things first. Andrew Weatherall was 56 when he died, and he was a legend, an absolute legend. The Guv’nor to all who knew him, or heard him play. So let’s have no more of this rubbish that poor old Tite can’t join in a dance on the touchline because he’s too old at 61.

Dancing didn’t seem to do Fred Astaire much harm, either; or Gene Kelly. Force every DJ over the age of 30 into retirement and half the nightclubs in this country would fall silent, including most of the good ones.

Alfredo Fiorito is credited with the sound that transformed dance music worldwide at Amnesia in Ibiza. By the time he did that he was pushing 40. So that’s dancing in perspective.

If Tite’s got moves, you go, mate. What’s he meant to do? Sit in the corner with a packet of Woodbines and a half of light and bitter, moaning about Extinction Rebellion?

As for the rest of it. The Brazilian celebrations? Oh, come on. They were absolutely blinding, life-affirming stuff. Fantastic. One of the best things I have seen at a football match, anywhere. It’s meant to be fun, you know, sport. It’s meant to be entertaining.

If the World Cup was listed on the Stock Exchange it would be in the group of companies that make blockbuster films and television shows, the modern opium of the masses. It isn’t supposed to be clocking on at the production line; it isn’t meant to bring you down.

Brazil’s first half against South Korea was exactly what the best sport is meant to contain. Beauty, art, athleticism. It can’t all the time, because human competition is not like that. But if you’ve got it, flaunt it. And that’s what Brazil did. Where’s the harm?

Tite is getting a lot of stick for joining in with the dancing, but all he was doing was bonding with his team – they should be his main priority and the main point is the players involved him

There was joy in the Brazilian performance, a joy in their talent and in what they were doing. The point of football is to score goals and they did so, four times in 36 minutes.

Why wouldn’t they be happy with that? Why wouldn’t they then share that happiness with the world? Roy Keane was a wonderful player and I’m second to none in my admiration for him, but it’s a miserable state of mind to think Brazil’s dancing was disrespectful.

If South Korea want respect, don’t ship four goals in 36 minutes. And, if you do, maybe have a look at your own performance rather than what is going on over by the corner flag.

Anyway, back to Tite, and in his defence he is getting a lot of stick for joining in with the dancing, when all he was doing was bonding with his team. They should be his concern, more than the wounded egos of the Koreans — who don’t seem to have complained half as much as some observers, by the way.

There was joy in the Brazilian performance, a joy in their talent and in what they were doing

The point is: the players involved him. Led by the scorer Richarlison, after Brazil’s third, they came over to him. It wasn’t as if he went charging down the touchline shouting: ‘Here, lads, have you seen this one? It’s the Funky Chicken, we used to do this in the Seventies.’

They all ran to him because they obviously like him — which is a good thing, no? — and they linked arms and dragged him into their circle. What’s he meant to say? ‘Get out of it you perishing kids!’

Look, Tite’s 61. Can you imagine how hard he must work to try to make a connection with men 30, 40 years his junior? All managers past a certain age strive for that.

One of the reasons Bryan Robson was brought on to the staff in the build-up to the 1996 European Championship was because Terry Venables wanted a good assistant coach who was nearer the age of the players, and could relate. Venables liked karaoke and Frank Sinatra.

So one imagines Tite would have gone to bed very happy on Monday night. Not because he looked good on the dancefloor, but because there was an old man included in the young team; and a joy that was apparent in them all.

YES, THEY WERE DISRESPECTFUL – ROGER ALTON 

Call me an old buffer if you like, or even a killjoy, but isn’t it about time FIFA did something about these interminable goal celebrations?

Is it absolutely unreasonable to insist they take place on the pitch and involve only the 11 players of the team who scored?

On Monday night the Brazilians, who for my money are far too pleased with themselves, danced with their manager way beyond the touchline.

What next? A team rushing off to roast an impala on a spit as a sacrifice to the gods of football (or even boiling up Roy Keane in a nearby cauldron)?

If I had been a South Korean on Monday I would have been sorely tempted to seize Neymar by his collar as he cavorted with manager Tite, sling him into one of the 974 containers that make up Stadium 974 in Doha and remind him he was there to play football, not to show off in front of a humiliated foe — and doubtless all those fangirls and boys of what they like to still call the Beautiful Game.

I thought booking players for taking their shirt off after scoring was a bit steep. But what is going on now is in a different league. Poor Chloe Kelly was absurdly booked for taking her top off after scoring the Lionesses’ winner in the Euro 2022 final against Germany — though she was rewarded with enough newspaper front pages and magazine covers to last a lifetime to be fair.

Call me an old buffer if you like, or even a killjoy, but isn’t it about time FIFA did something about these interminable goal celebrations 

At this rate you can forget the referee and just bring on Claudia Winkleman and Holly Willoughby to set up the whole event, with awards for the best goal celebrations

What is going on now seems completely unpoliced. Why doesn’t the ref just blow for kick-off? And why don’t FIFA just set a time limit for celebrations?

The time these absurd dances take up is surely now the issue. It is imperative football moves to a ‘ball in play for 90 minutes’ system like rugby’s 80 minutes.

Currently the ball is in play for around 58-60 minutes. The way the system works is arbitrary, inaccurate and clearly sometimes unfair.

At this rate you can forget the referee and just bring on Claudia Winkleman and Holly Willoughby to set up the whole event, with awards for the best goal celebrations. If Brazil do the samba, maybe Scotland, if they ever qualify again and actually score a goal, should do the Gay Gordons; the Germans should change into lederhosen and do a bit of jolly thigh-slapping; the Austrians a nice Viennese waltz; and the Americans some powerful breakdancing. Spare us please: FIFA, take action.




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