- A referee showed a white card for the first time in a Portuguese match last year
- The card, which is rarely used, is given to recognize and encourage fair play in the game.
- The IFAB has already given the green light to the trial of a blue card in matches
A video of the first white card shown in a football match has resurfaced, as the International Football Association Board (IFAB) prepares to approve plans to trial a new blue card.
The blue card will be introduced by football’s lawmakers and would condemn players to the bin for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show disagreement with match officials.
It would be the first new card officially added to the professional game since yellow and red cards were first introduced at the 1970 World Cup, and the IFAB is expected to publish its protocols today, with the blue card potentially set to be tested in next season’s FA. Cup.
However, another colored card has been used in recent years: a white card was shown in a women’s match in Portugal in January 2023.
Referee Catarina Campos brandished the card, which recognizes and encourages fair play, during a cup clash between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica in Lisbon, and footage of the incident has resurfaced.
Referee Catarina Campos showed the white card during a women’s cup clash between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica in January 2023
It came after someone on the bench became ill and was helped by medical staff from both teams.
The referee brandished it in recognition of his sporting conduct during the match.
The IFAB is now set to trial a blue card that will punish players for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show disagreement with the match officials.
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Shortly before half-time in the Taca de Portugal Feminina match, the Portuguese equivalent of the Women’s FA Cup, the referee showed the card as if it were red or yellow, and it received a good reception from the crowd at the Estadio da Luz.
Someone on a bench in the dugout fell ill and medical staff from both teams quickly came to their aid.
The referee took out the card and showed it to members of the medical teams of both teams, prompting a warm reception from the fans.
The card is demonstrably recognizing and encouraging fair play and is designed to “enhance ethical value in sport.”
The move was part of a new initiative in Portugal to encourage teams to act in a sporting manner and receive instant recognition for their positive actions.
The white card was used again nine months later, again in Portugal, in a men’s fifth division match after a notable act of sportsmanship.
Playing in a lower league match, the striker had a golden opportunity to score when the opposing defender lost the ball on the edge of his own area and immediately went down injured and in a lot of pain.
A player also received a white card in a Portuguese fifth division match last year after kicking the ball out of play when it was in the goal due to a serious injury to an opponent.
Many would have run and tried to score, but the attacker quickly realized that the defender was seriously injured and moved away from the goal before kicking the ball for a throw-in so he could receive treatment.
The sporting gesture was applauded by the fans present and quickly recognized by the referee who approached the player and showed him the white card.
The referee and the striker shook hands after the card, while a doctor came to the field to treat the injured player.
Fortunately, he was able to get back on his feet and was helped off the field by the doctor and his opponent, to warm applause from the crowd.