Watch: Footballer gets yellow card for kissing another player

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A Bristol Rovers player has been given a yellow card for kissing a player on the opposing team.

Rovers midfielder Lee Mansell had squared up to Gateshead player JJ O’Donnell, after an incident in a fifth division match last Friday.

It looked like they were about to start fighting when their faces came within centimetres of each other – but instead Mansell planted a kiss on his opponent’s lips.

Mr O’Donnell did not seem overly concerned by the kiss – not pulling away until Mansell went in for another – but the referee gave the player a yellow card and warned him about his conduct.

It seemed to help the team, however – who soared to a 3-2 victory over Gateshead.

The player told the BBC: “We either clash heads and he goes down or I end up doing something silly.

“I did it to defuse the situation. It’s the first time I’ve been booked for kissing someone.”

“I got in the car to go home and saw Twitter had lit up and my missus said: ‘What the hell were you thinking?’

“But we had a laugh and a joke about it with the lads afterwards. It’s another thing to add to the list of daft things I’ve done on the football pitch.”

BT Sport – who posted the above clip on Twitter – joked about the incident, writing: “Forget the mistletoe lads? @Official_BRFC’s Lee Mansell goes in for a cheeky kiss with @GatesheadFC’s JJ O’Donnell!”

Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt recently said she knew of closeted players in the Premier League, saying: “Yes they exist. And what they say is that they are concerned about management, they are concerned about sponsorship and they are also concerned about the kind of abuse they would get from fans – not from their own fans – but fans from other teams.”