What is a green card in football and what happens when a player receives one?
It is commonly understood that football involves the use of yellow and red cards, but were you aware that a green card also exists?
During the match between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, which took place in January, a referee created a historical moment when he presented a white card for the very first time.
The purpose of introducing the white card was to recognize fair play during matches and to encourage ethical values in sports. It was created with the intention of promoting and praising such values.
The first usage of the green card occurred in June 2018, during the CONIFA World Football Cup, a competition meant for international teams not affiliated with FIFA.
The referee interrupted the game and issued a player a green card, instructing them to depart from the field.
According to CONIFA regulations, “a player who receives a green card must leave the field of play immediately, but can be replaced if his team have not used all of their substitutes. A player receiving a green card is not excluded from his team's next match.”
The tournament’s organiser, Paul Watson spoke to Sky Sports about the use of the green card.
He said: “We'd really like to clamp down on the dissent problem. Football has a problem with the lack of respect for referees.
“That's not to say that isn't also the case in CONIFA games - the players in our tournament still have those traits.
“But it would be nice that, instead of it being ignored and therefore in a way condoned, it shouldn't necessarily cost someone their chance to play at this tournament, if they just lose their cool.”
Jens Jockel, CONIFA’s Asia President added: “We have had some minor problems in the past, with some red cards at the end of a game - mostly when teams realised they can't keep up and find themselves losing heavily with 10 minutes left.
“It's a really good idea of how to sanction things that might not be worthy of a red card. More like personal mistakes - using swear words, disrespecting spectators and coaches and so on. It's a perfect way to find something in between.”
Do you think the green card is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.