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FFA backs Cahill despite threat of World Cup ban

FIFA investigating former Everton talisman

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Australia v Syria - 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff: Leg 2 Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

The Football Federation of Australia has backed Tim Cahill after the former Everton favourite’s controversial celebration on Tuesday.

Cahill is currently being investigated by FIFA following his goal celebration during Australia’s World Cup qualifying win over Syria.

However, when contacted by the BBC the FFA said they were not taking any action against the 37-year-old as they didn’t think he had broken any rules.

Cahill is usually seen boxing the corner flag when he scores - a celebration going back to his early years at Goodison Park.

However, when he put the Socceroos 2-1 ahead in extra-time in Sydney he crossed his hands above his head.

It later emerged that Cahill is an ambassador for travel company TripADeal, who thanked the midfielder for his celebration in an Instagram post after the game.

Alongside a picture of Cahill, the post said: ““Did you catch @tim_cahill, our new brand ambassador, doing the TripADeal 'T' after he scored the winning goal last night? Congratulations Tim!'”

TripADeal later deleted the post, but not after it drew a stinging reaction on social media.

Now FIFA have launched a investigation into whether Cahill was paid by TripADeal to make that celebration.

Players are prohibited from wearing any clothing to advertise a product as well as political, religious or personal images.

Should Cahill be found guilty he could face a fine or even a ban, ruling him out of at least one of Australia’s Intercontinental World Cup qualifying play-off matches against Honduras next month.

The closest precedent is probably Nicklas Bendtner, who was fined £80,000 and banned for one match when he revealed he was wearing underwear sponsored by bookmaker Paddy Power at Euro 2012.

It’s not the first time Cahill’s goal celebration’s have landed him in hot water.

Back in 2008 Cahill was forced to apologise for making a handcuff gesture when scoring for Everton against Portsmouth at Goodison Park.

It later emerged Cahill made the celebration on honour of his brother, who had recently been jailed for an assault in London.