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Wilder and these Sheffield United fans defend celebration of first win after BBC News criticism

Sheffield United were criticised on BBC News for their goal celebration after their first Premier League win of the season.

Billy Sharp’s 100th league goal for the club from the penalty spot sealed a 1-0 victory against Newcastle United at Bramall Lane.

It ended a 186-day stretch and run of 20 league games without winning in the top flight of English football.

The joy and relief among the players was clear to see, but their celebrations with Sharp were singled out on the 10 o’clock news.

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There has been plenty of coverage this week about footballers not observing social distancing rules.

Sky Sports reports that Premier League referees will start reminding players and coaches about the protocols.

This includes a ban on shaking hands, hugging and swapping shirts. There are also concerns about goal celebrations.

League officials fear if players continue celebrating as they have been they will become a target for stricter government sanctions.

Unlike in the first lockdown, football is continuing this time around. Yet that could be at risk if they’re not seen to be following the rules.

Frustration at Sheffield United celebration being singled out

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PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor last week said players needed to tone down their celebrations.

Both Arsenal and Manchester City bosses Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola say they may find this difficult to do in the heat of the moment.

Meanwhile, after seeing his team pick up their first three points of the season, Blades manager Chris Wilder has also defended his side.

“We’ve talked before about the country looking at us, but it is an emotional game on the pitch and on the touchline,” Wilder was quoted by the Daily Mail.

“It is unnatural and unreal (not to celebrate).

“How can they not? They are team-mates and I don’t see any way they can just walk back to the halfway line and show no emotion after what they’ve been through for a long period.”

Fans also hit back

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Many supporters who were understandably overjoyed at a first league victory of 2020/21, were also disappointed with the BBC News coverage.

Footballers should limit the close contact they have with those around them, just as we all are.

But they are also being asked to continue playing a contact sport. There is no social distancing from set pieces, for example.

They are also regularly tested, so are in a very different environment to most people.

However, what really seemed to wrangle with the Blades support is their team being singled out.

Even if they were annoyingly referred to as “Sheffield”.

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