It might feel like ten years ago at this stage, but on the second day of the World Cup, Spain and Portugal played out a brilliant 3-3 draw, with Ronaldo scoring an amazing last minute free-kick equaliser. In the aftermath, one of the stranger narratives was that José Fonte had remained on the field of play after the free-kick while all of his teammates lost their mind in order to prevent Spain kicking off.
During Cristiano’s hat-trick celebration, all Portuguese players were celebrating with him except one who had to stay inside the pitch as FIFA states if all 'outfield players' are off the pitch during celebrations, opposing team can kickoff the game. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/u8ewWV3Zz6
— The Football Arena (@BantsFootballFC) June 18, 2018
An obscure FIFA rule was quoted for this rule that simply doesn't exist. FIFA's rules for kicking off very clearly point to all opposition players needing to be in their own half of the pitch.
Like a lot of things posted online, this was taken as fact by many, with the above tweet going viral and getting close to two million views. The debunking of the story in the days that followed didn't quite reach the same audience.
I remember in the 2010 World Cup final, when Spain’s entire squad joyously ran off the pitch to cebrate Iniesta’s goal, and Holland just tipped off, scored into an empty net and then won on penalties because all 11 Spanish players were off the pitch.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 24, 2018
It seems the mythbusting didn't quite reach the England team, who tried a quick kick-off after Croatia's winner last night.
Hrvati so blizu finala pic.twitter.com/vJMuRSLdYf
— Vlasta Jeseničnik (@VJesenicnik) July 11, 2018
Worth a try I suppose!