Weren't there cards at football games? - GeekClub - The club every nerd wants to join

Weren't there cards at football games?

By: Marcus Vinicius

With the current games and all the technology and rules that mediate the games, you can't even imagine that one day football didn't have red and yellow cards! Did you know that?

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Until the end of the 19th century, football was not a regulated sport and, accordingly, there were no cards. It was only after 1884, with the creation of the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA), that the rules were established and the use of cards began to be adopted in games.

In England, for example, cards were introduced in 1891 by The Football Association's Rules Committee. In the United States, the first record of a yellow card was in 1913. However, it was not until the 1970s that cards became really common on soccer fields.
In World Cup matches, for example, before the 1990s there were no card records. Only since 1990, when the tournament was held for the first time in Europe, have cards become a constant element of matches.

Initially, only the yellow card and the red card existed, but over time the blue card was created to punish unsportsmanlike acts. However, this type of card was never officially adopted by FIFA. At the end of 2005, the confederation launched another type of card: the white card. This type of punishment was used to identify players who made a gesture to contradict arbitration decisions. The white card was withdrawn in 2007 and replaced by the yellow card, which is now used for such cases.

What are cards in football games?

In the early years of football, there were no cards. Players were responsible for their own behavior and matches were often marked by fights and confusion. However, as the game gained in popularity, referees began to use cards to control players' behavior.

Cards are used to punish players for serious rule infractions or inappropriate behavior. A player can be sent off the field with a red card, which means he is out of the match and his team is one player short. If a player receives two yellow cards in the same match, he will also be sent off.
The cards are an important mechanism for controlling the behavior of the players, as being expelled can mean the loss of an important match. However, referees can sometimes be accused of using cards arbitrarily or abusively.

The cards were inspired by traffic lights, with yellow being a warning and red being an expulsion.

Advantages and disadvantages of cards in football games

The introduction of cards in soccer games brought many advantages and disadvantages for athletes, referees and fans. Let's review some of them:


– Improves athletes’ discipline: with the risk of receiving a card, players tend to better control their actions during the game, avoiding unnecessary fouls;

– Increases player security: with the fear of being expelled, players are less likely to commit aggression against opponents;

– Facilitates the work of the referee: with the use of cards, the referee can take faster and more assertive measures against infractions on the pitch.


– It can harm the image of football: field scenarios with many yellow and red cards can discourage people from watching the games;

– It can cause injustices: sometimes, the referee can expel a player who has not committed a serious offense, which can harm the team;

– Can interfere with teams' strategy: the expulsion of a player can negatively affect the team's strategy, especially if it is a key player.

How are cards used in football games?

In recent years, cards have been increasingly used in football games. They are used to warn or punish players for infractions committed during the game. Yellow cards are used to caution players and red cards are used to eject them from the game.

The use of cards in football games has become very controversial in recent years. Some argue that they are necessary to keep the game safe and fair, while others argue that they are increasingly being abused by referees.
The use of cards in soccer games continues to be a controversial issue divided among those involved in the game.

Alternatives to cards in football games

The first cards in football matches were used in the Premier League in 1970. However, before that, other ways were used to control player behavior. One of the main alternatives to cards in soccer games is the so-called “yellow card”, which is a warning for the player who is committing infractions. Another alternative is the “red card”, which indicates that the player has committed a serious offense and must be expelled from the match.
One of the main criticisms of cards in football games is that they are too subjective. This means that sometimes a player can be cautioned for a minor offense, while another player can be cautioned for a more serious offense without being sent off. Also, sometimes a player can be expelled from the match for an offense that wasn't that serious, which can hurt your team.

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