Leicester City winger Demarai Gray was booked after he took off his shirt to reveal a tribute to the club’s late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The 22-year-old opened the scoring at the Cardiff City stadium on Saturday afternoon in an emotionally-charged game for the Foxes given the helicopter crash that has dominated the build-up.
Demarai Gray scores for Leicester, pulls off his shirt to reveal a message with ‘For Khun Vichai’ and then gets booked? Have some heart ref, ffs.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) November 3, 2018
Fans took to social media to criticise the decision making of referee Lee Probert given the emotion that was riding on the game.
Demarai Gray getting booked for taking his shirt off to reveal another T-Shirt that said 'For Khun Vichai' is absolutely horrendous. Sometimes the importance of context overrides the rules. It's sport at the end of the day.
— Reev (@TheReevHD) November 3, 2018
Lee Probert has just booked Demarai Gray for celebrating and taking his shirt off to show a tribute undershirt
When does common sense over power the rule book? I don’t even think Lee Probert wanted to show him a yellow he was almost sorry for doing it, it’s just silly.
— Tom (@MellorFootball) November 3, 2018
Probert’s decision is likely to come under further scrutiny by bosses with everyone in south Wales bemoaning the decision to rigidly stick to the laws of the game.
If a player removes his shirt in celebration of a goal it is an automatic yellow card but some felt, in this particular scenario, Probert should have kept his cards in his pocket.
User Kiran Moodley wrote: ‘Crazy – and disgusting – that Demarai Gray still gets a yellow card for taking his shirt off when it reads “For Vichai”.’
YouTube star Reev felt given the overwhelming emotion consuming the Leicester players, Probert needed to ‘override the rules’.
He wrote: ‘Demarai Gray getting booked for taking his shirt off to reveal another T-Shirt that said ‘For Khun Vichai’ is absolutely horrendous. Sometimes the importance of context overrides the rules. It’s sport at the end of the day.’
The former Birmingham City player fought back tears pre-match during the minute’s silence for Srivaddhanaprabha and the other victims.
And as he latched onto a through ball from Ben Chilwell to slot home for what proved to be the winning goal, keeping his shirt on was the last of his concerns as he wanted to continue the tributes to the man the players referred to as ‘The Boss’.