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Culture

The Shirtless Wonder of Lisbon

When Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo went shirtless after scoring a goal during Euro 2004, the referees pulled out the yellow card. Two German Greens and an army of women are now mobilizing in his defense.

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Behave like an adonis and you'll get a yellow card

Should hunky footballers be allowed to tear off their shirts and parade their taut torsos after a winning goal?

According to current football rules, the practice is banned. But after Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo got a yellow card for baring his chest and washboard stomach, appreciative female fans quickly rallied support for him.

Now members of Germany's Green Party have jumped into the fray, led by Evelin Schönhut-Keil and Margareta Wolf, the latter usually dealing with environmental issues as a parliamentary state secretary.

They two women have called on German Football Association (DFB) President Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder to "vehemently" argue for the rules to be changed.

In an open letter to the DFB, they wrote: "Get rid of the yellow card and instead let players show their athletic torsos." In other words, an open plea for more pecs on the pitch.

After his header goal, which brought a 1:0 victory for Portugal against The Netherlands, Ronaldo shed his jersey to the joy of spectators. The game's male referee, however, was less titilated by Ronaldo's show of skin and decried as "unsportsmanlike conduct."

The move left female fans baffled. In Germany, Greens Schönhut-Keil and Wolf said they couldn't understand how the "voluntary showing of a gorgeous male breast" could be objectionable.

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