FIFA World Cup 2010: The dangerous Red Card

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FIFA World Cup 2010: The dangerous Red Card

With the first round of this year’s FIFA World Cup almost coming to an end, we have already seen many players being shown the yellow card and in certain instance the red card as well.

So what exactly is a red or a yellow card and what do they mean? Well for starters, the cards are there for the match referee to indicate a player of his misconduct which may occur at any time, including when the ball is out of play, during half-time and before and after the game.

The red and yellow cards are usually used in games such as football, rugby and soccer; they have been part of the game since the early 70’s. This system of warning is said to have been invented by the British referee Ken Aston, who apparently thought of it when waiting at a traffic light.

The first time the cards were used was in the 1970 FIFA World Cup and they became mandatory in every format of the game by the 1980’s.

On a minor offence where the referee feels the player might have committed the error in mistake or as part of tackling, on his own discretion the referee may award the guilty player a yellow card which basically is a warning. If the offence is repeated, the player is awarded with another yellow card, and he may be signaled to go off the field, in other words two yellows mean a red card.

When warned, the referee notes down the details of the player to whom he has awarded the card in a little notebook.

A red card is given when the referee feels the player commits an offence on purpose, shows indiscipline or is being unnecessarily aggressive. If this happens then the player is required to leave the field immediately and will also not be allowed to play the next game. In addition the team whose player is given a red card cannot substitute that particular player and thus has to play with one less man on the field.

An interesting rule, but has anyone ever thought what a team would do in case their goal-keeper is awarded the red card. The rule in such a scenario is that if the team has a reserve goalkeeper available, then he can be substituted for an outfield player, but if no substitute is available or if the team has already made the maximum permitted substitutions, then one of the outfield player must go and guard the goal.

Ever since the card was brought into the game, there have been many red cards awarded, but there have been some golden moments in the game where a red card awarding has led to the entire game changing.

So let’s shed light on some of the historic and memorable red card moments in the game. We will start with the 2006 world cup which saw many great red card moments.

One such moment happened in the quarter final of the 2006 World Cup quarter final, when Argentina’s Leonardo Cufre was sent off the field against their match with Germany. Argentina lost that match, however the reason why this particular red card was historical was because this was the first ever red card to be handed to a player who had not played at all and was given once the match had already ended. The reason for the card was that a furious Cufre kicked the German defender Per Mertesacker, to which the match Referee Ľuboš Michel felt it necessary to give the card. 

David Backham was the first England player ever to collect two red cards and the first England captain to be sent off the pitch. Beckham's most notorious red card was during the 1998 FIFA World Cup after Argentina's Diego Simeone had fouled him. Rooney was red-carded in the 62nd minute of the quarterfinal for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho, as both attempted to gain possession of the ball.

And then of course the most famous of them all which also took place at the final of the 2006 world Cup between France and Italy. Zinedine Zidane, the French captain at that time in his last career match head butted Marco Materazzi, for offensive comments about his mother. Zidane had just been given the Golden Ball for being the best player of the competition and he was the key to his country’s chances of success.

After the head butt, Zidane was sent off the field and this lead to France losing 5-3 in a penalty shootout after drawing 1-1. Till day Zidane says that not being able to control his emotions at that time perhaps remains his biggest nightmare, however he is not sorry for what he did. 

Coming back to the current world cup, the infamous Kaka was presented with two yellows and was sent off the pitch because of the red card in yesterdays match against Ivory Coast on June 20th.

In a Peru Romania game in 1930, Placido Galindo earned his place in the record books in the first ever World Cup. He was sent off shortly after half-time in a bad tempered game which required intervention from the local police to calm things down. So much for the good old days, imagine having to resort to police these days to settle disputes on the field.



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