If you love football, the yellow cards and red cars must be familiar for you. Yes, these cards are very essential in football. If you think that yellow card and red card have been around forever, you are quite wrong because those cards and the system of using them in football were only established in 1970. Before that, no cards were used at all in football. Interested in the story of yellow cards and red cards? Below is more information about all of it for you.
- The Background of Yellow Cards and Red Cards Invention
The history of yellow card and red cards began in 1962. That year, FIFA held World Cup competition and the host was Chile. One of the most memorable matches on that year’s World Cup is the match between European elite team Italy vs. the host-country, Chile. There were so many fouls in that match, causing chaos and riots between the supporters and players. It was remembered as one of the most violent match of all time. The referee of that match was Ken Aston. He was a professional referee from England who really had a hard time during that match. There was no system at all to warn the players except by the whistle, which was ignored or unheard by the players most of the time. The game was very violent that Ken Aston decided to punish Italian player Giorgio Ferrini by sending him off the pitch. However, the Italian player did not speak English at all and he did not understand Ken Aston’s order to leave the pitch. He remained being on the pitch and keep being violent. As the result, some polices were used to force Giorgio Ferrini off the pitch.
- The Day Ken Aston Invented Yellow Cards and Red Cards
After the game was over, Ken Aston was convinced that football needed some sort of system to punish players for giving bad behavior and bad sportsmanship during the game. Ken Aston then started thinking of a system that would be understood by all players, regardless of their language. He knew that language barrier could make it really hard for referees to kick misbehaved players off the pitch because sometimes they could not understand each other. Ken Aston then went back to England and one day he was thinking of traffic lights. There were the colors of red and yellow there. He then realized that the colors could be used as signs to communicate with players without having to use words. He thought yellow was like the color of caution and red was the color of straight punishment.
Basically, Ken Aston had just realized that the yellow color and red color could be unspoken code in football games. Even though the players and the referee come from different countries and speak different language, the color yellow could be universally understood as the sign that the player behaved out of order and the color red could be universally understood that the player’s behavior was intolerable and he needed to get out of the pitch immediately. The system of red and yellow card in football match needed four more years to be established. Yellow cards and red cards system made debut in 1970. The event was a major event because it was World Cup. The World Cup was held in Mexico. To this day, the yellow cards and red cars system is still important in football and become essential elements throughout the whole game.
- What Does a Yellow Card in Football Mean?
Basically, in football, a yellow card means a caution. The referee would issue the yellow card to a player who has committed bad behavior or misconduct or made serious offence. The offences considered quite serious that they would make the referee issue a yellow card are including: unsporting behavior, continues infringement of laws, dissent by action or word, entering or re-entering the pitch without the permission of the referee, delaying play restarting, and not standing in the required distance during a free kick or corner.
- What Does a Red Card in Football Mean?
It is obvious that red card is way more serious than a yellow card. If a yellow card is a caution, then a red card is a death warrant for a player. It means one thing: they need to get out of the pitch immediately. Players will only receive red card if they have committed a really serious foul or they have committed intolerable misconduct. Players who receive red cards will have to leave the pitch immediately and they will be banned from playing in the same competition for at least in the next 3 matches. The offences or misconducts considered too serious that they would make the referee issue a red card are including: serious foul play, using abusive language/ spitting on other players and referee, deliberately fouling other players, showing violent behavior (kicking, attacking, punching, elbowing), and receiving two yellow cards.
- Famous Use of Yellow Cards and Red Cards
There are some memorable moments of the usage of yellow cards and red cards that gives massive impacts to the game. However, the most memorable one, of course, is David Beckham’s red card in World Cup France 1998. It was the match during England vs. Argentina match. Beckham was fouled by Argentinean player (now Atletico Madrid’s coach), Diego Simeone. Beckham then fought back and unfortunately he was fighting back too hard that Simeone fell face-first onto the ground and need medical help. Beckham’s act was considered really reckless and he got punished by red card for that. With only ten players on the pitch, England was ending up losing and got eliminated from the World Cup that very night. Everyone in England practically blamed Beckham and he was the most hated man in England that night and the hatred did not come to an end in few months.
Both yellow card and red card can even give significant impact to the match and later change the result of the match. Yellow card and red card can also change the atmosphere of the whole game, changing the mood of the crowd and the players on the pitch as well. That is why to this day the systems of yellow card and red card are still interesting to examine.