The Australia FA will not not take action against goalscoring hero Tim Cahill after he apparently used a goal celebration to promote a sponsor. However, the 37-year-old could yet be punished by FIFA for his actions if found to have broken laws regarding advertising within the game.
Former Everton star Cahill has been criticised for acting out a celebration for which he was paid, after scoring in a vital playoff game that saw the Socceroos edge Syria in extra time to gain a shot at qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
After Cahill scored his first goal, he celebrated by putting his hands in the shape of a 'T'. Since the match it has come to light that the celebration was a paid publicity stunt after Cahill became an ambassador of travel agency TripADeal.
The company tweeted an explanation to the 'T' that was deleted soon after due to the backlash it received. It read, as reported by the BBC: "Did you catch @tim_cahill, our new bran ambassador, doing the TripADeal ‘T’ after he scored the winning goal last night? Congratulations Tim!"
Cahill also tagged the company in a post match Instagram post, while Managing Director Norm Black still spoke positively of the stunt, saying: "This is the first step for us to formalise something on top of our really solid friendship.
"This is a great stepping stone to bigger and better things. For us there is nobody better to have linked to your brand. There is no higher respected sportsman in the country."
FIFA investigating reports Tim Cahill was paid for sponsored goal celebration during Australia’s 2-1 win against Syria on Tuesday— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) October 12, 2017
However, many fans took to social media with a negative reaction to the true meaning behind the celebration, while Sky reporter Kaveh Solhekol took to Twitter to claim that FIFA are investigating the sponsored celebration.
FIFA's laws of the game prohibit advertising on the field of play, while the likes of ex-Arsenal star Nicklas Bendtner was fined £80,000 for exposing sponsored underwear.