In any football tournament like the World Cup, fouls are committed by players during matches, after which a yellow or red card is shown by the referee.
Each time the referee reaches into his pocket, he never knows which suit of cards will come out.
But the question is, what are yellow and red cards?
These cards are issued by the referee for dangerous or undesirable behaviour.
Also known as penalty cards, a yellow card is basically a warning while a red card leads to immediate ejection from the match.
When did the process of showing cards start?
You may be surprised to know that yellow or red cards have not been used in football for very long.
The introduction of these cards into football was caused by a number of incidents and controversies and was suggested by Sir Kenneth George Austin.
2 incidents made Sir Kenneth George think of the penalty card system.
The most prominent of these was the 1962 World Cup match between Chile and Italy in Santiago, in which the first foul occurred within 12 seconds of kick-off and a player was sent off after 8 minutes.
The police had to be called 4 times during the match as the players started fighting each other.
Before these cards players were given verbal warnings and it was very difficult for all parties to keep track.
And yes, Sir Kenneth George came up with the idea of choosing these colors for the cards by looking at the traffic signal lights.
Yellow means a warning or a clear signal to the player to consider his actions.
Red means a full stop, meaning the player is not allowed to continue playing.
Cards of these two colors were used for the first time in the 1970 FIFA World Cup and have been used for more than 50 years now.
What does a yellow card mean?
A yellow card is issued for minor fouls and is the most commonly used card in football.
When a player is shown a yellow card, he does not face any immediate consequences.
A player facing a yellow card is allowed to continue playing and the referee writes the reason, player’s name and number on the card.
This helps the referees to track which player was shown the card in the match and need to keep track of it for future matches.
If a player is issued 2 yellow cards in a match, he becomes a red card and has to leave the match.
No substitute for that player can take his place in the team and the team has to complete the match without a player.
It does not necessarily have to be in the same match, if a player is shown a yellow card in 2 different matches, he will not be allowed to play in the next match.
If a player is given a yellow card in the group stage of the tournament, he must avoid another card until the quarter-finals, otherwise he will not be allowed to play the next match.
If a yellow card is shown in the semi-finals after the quarter-finals, it will be considered the first.
What is a red card?
A red card is issued for a serious or violent incident and results in the player leaving the game immediately with no substitute.
A red card is the referee’s last weapon and is therefore not as common as a yellow card, however, when a player is shown this card, he has to leave the game and is also suspended for the next match.
The penalty can be higher but it depends on what caused the red card to be shown.
So far in the Qatar World Cup, the only red card issued was on November 25 against Iran and Wales.
This red card was shown to the Wales goalkeeper who had to leave the match.
If the goalkeeper is shown a red card in a match, the team will play with 10 players, however, a substitute goalkeeper can be part of the game if the team does not meet the quota of substitutes.
If the quota is reached, then the goalkeeper has to be replaced by one of the 10 players in the team.
A goalkeeper usually faces a red card when he goes outside the penalty area to prevent a player from the opposing team from scoring.