10 of football's most amusing protests: sit-downs, hunger strikes... and a deckchair

Jon Spurling selects a handful of players who showed dissent without barking at a referee

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1. “Come on, darling, we’re leaving”

“It’s not for you to demand things that you’re not entitled to,” barked German delegate Hans Deckert at West Germany’s 1974 World Cup winner Uli Hoeness, fresh from victory over the Dutch.

Hoeness was furious when his wife Susi was asked to leave the team banquet at Munich’s Hilton Hotel. Skipper Franz Beckenbauer led the mass walkout to an adjacent bar, leaving the German suits alone with their steins.

2. Teenage netbuster gets the hook

I believe they cause great harm to the wild salmon, and I’m not impressed

- Freyja Reed

“I believe they cause great harm to the wild salmon, and I’m not impressed,” 14-year-old Vancouver Island player Freyja Reed fumed in 2015. Her team’s new sponsor was Marine Harvest – the biggest operator of open net fish farms in Canada.

After venting via Facebook, Freyja was dropped for breaking club social media rules. “It’s not appropriate for players to complain about the sponsors online,” argued a club spokesman. Nothing like free speech…


Won't somebody think of the salmon?

3. Heart of the action

In September 2017, one disgruntled woman in south-west France had reached the end of her tether. Furious with the number of footballs that continued to land in her garden, the angry activist forced the suspension of an amateur match between Juillan III and Tarbes by taking her deckchair to the centre circle and refusing to move during play. 

It worked as well: after a 45-minute discussion, the game was abandoned. No word since on whether she's left the pitch, though. 

4. Sitting sulkers

Sitting down during a game doesn't always get you what you wish for, however – just ask Bosnian second division side Bosna Visoko, whose lackadaisical attitude towards goal difference led to them putting pride ahead of points in October 2017.

Going into the dying embers of their game against Zvijezda 1-0 down, Bosna players took exception to an opposition player going down injured close to the sidelines in order to waste time. Having been miffed with a series of refereeing decisions throughout the game, they decided to sit down in protest.

The trouble was that Zvijezda players didn't, and scored twice more in injury time around their static adversaries to run out 3-0 winners. Hmm.  

1:55 for the protest

5. Bobo isn’t clowning around

Christian Vieiri

"What is there to celebrate without Hernan?"

Christian Vieri built a reputation for throwing strops throughout his career. But even he excelled himself when, following the sale of strike partner Hernan Crespo to Chelsea in 2003, he refused to celebrate scoring for Inter. “I will play to my usual excellent standards, and continue to score plenty,” the not-so-modest forward supposedly huffed, “but I’ll take no pleasure playing at San Siro.” 

Vieiri was later sold – to fellow San Siro tenants Milan. Ah.