Referee Issued White Card For The First Time in Football History in Benfica Vs Sporting Lisbon Clash
A center-referee made history in Sporting Lisbon vs Benfica match in Portugal, issuing a white card for the first time in football history.
The white card is part of new introductions including concussion subs and longer stoppage time that will likely be adopted widely in football in the coming years.
The issuance of the card by the referee caught the fancy of fans in the stadium, who took to the venue to watch the premium club competition in Portugal.
The shocked reaction of fans to the seemingly bizarre incident is quite understood. Football fans are used to two instruments of discipline and control during games – the red and yellow cards.
Red and yellow cards have been an integral part of the game over the years. The two cards serve complementary roles in games.
While the yellow card warns the player, the red card is a decision tool, literally sending the player off the pitch and having him/her suspended for two more matches.
Now, a third card has been introduced into the game albeit not widely adopted – the White Card. It is understood many football supporters are yet to learn about the introduction of the new card, its implications and role in games.
While some supporters are still yet to be onboarded with the new developments and changes in the game, a Portugal referee is already making use of the card.
It was used in a game between two giants in women football in Portugal – Sporting Lisbon and Benfica. The two teams clashed in the Taca de Portugal quarterfinal – a similar competition as the FA Cup in England.
Shortly before half-time, the female referee issued out the card as she would have a red or yellow card.
The gesture won her an applause from the fifteen thousand spectators that thronged into the Estadio da Luz.
Why Did She Issue The Card?
During the game, someone in the dugout had fallen ill, and medical staff from both teams tried to offer instant aid and assistance.
After both sides successfully render the assistance and help the person recover, the referee then issued the card in recognition of their adherence to fair-play and ethical action.
The fans from both sides were moved by the scene and perfunctorily started clapping for the referee, hailing her reaction to the gesture by the two teams.
The issuance of the White Card is said to be highly encouraged and pushed by football administrators in Portugal to encourage the spirit of sportsmanship between teams.
The action of the referee, is believed, will influence teams to be sportmanslike, approach games with a good sense of fairness to the opponents, and keep matches free of prejudices and ill-intents.
The match was later won by Benfica women, who defeated Sporting Lisbon by five unreplied goals to make it to the semi-final of the competition.