The Rio Report

The explanation: Algeria’s kneeling goal celebration

The Rio Report

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(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Algeria opened the scoring in their match against heavily favoured Belgium with a Sofiane Feghouli penalty in the 24th minute before Belgium came back to win 2-1.

After sealing the unexpected lead, Feghouli and several of his team-mates ran to the corner flag and celebrated by kneeling down together.

The subdued celebration contrasts with the dances and general craziness we've seen from others at the World Cup, but it's been a customary goal celebration for Muslim players, like the Algerians, for some time now.

What they did was a Sujud — a prayer position in which the forehead, nose, hands, knees and toes all touch the ground — which delighted Muslim fans on social media.

Chelsea's Demba Ba is a well known practitioner of the Sujud as a goal celebration and it was even added to video game FIFA 14.

BBC pundit and former England player Gary Lineker had to apologise in 2012 when he described a similar goal celebration by joking that the players involved "ate grass."

Lineker later said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not aware of every player's religion."

Maybe now that it's been done at the World Cup, the increased exposure will help prevent others from making a similar mistake.

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Brooks Peck

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