Referee Catarina Campos gave Sporting Lisbon and Benfica a white card during their women's cup match on Saturday.
Referee Catarina Campos gave Sporting Lisbon and Benfica a white card during their women’s cup match on Saturday.

On Saturday, a white card was shown for the first time in a professional game in Portugal. This was a big moment in football history.

Fans are used to seeing red and yellow cards for fouls and other bad behavior during a game. They were first used at the 1970 World Cup, which was over 50 years ago.

As part of a number of new things going on in Portugal, a third color has been added.
On Saturday, a white card was shown for the first time in a professional game in Portugal. This was a big moment in football history.

Fans are used to seeing red and yellow cards for fouls and other bad behavior during a game. They were first used at the 1970 World Cup, which was over 50 years ago.

As part of a number of new things going on in Portugal, a third color has been added.
What is a white card, and when do you use it?

The card can be shown to encourage and reward fair play, and it is meant to “improve the moral value of the sport.”

dugout, staff, in, helping, ill.
It came after someone in the dugout felt ill, with medical staff from both sides aiding them.

The move is part of a new plan in Portugal to encourage teams to act in a sportsmanlike way and be rewarded right away for doing so.

When someone does something good during a football game, the white card is shown right away.
The idea hasn’t caught on yet and is only being used in Portugal, but it’s one of a number of new things being tried out in football.

What has been the answer?

Similar to how people felt about extra time at the World Cup, social media has had a mixed reaction to the white card.

Many people gave compliments, showing that they liked what the card stands for.
But some people didn’t understand the point of what was mostly a symbolic move.
One person on Twitter replied, “As far as I can tell, effectively means nothing.”

The referee gave it to them as a reward for being good sports during the game.
The referee gave it to them as a reward for being good sports during the game.

This hasn’t been said before, has it?

In a sense, yes. Michel Platini, who used to be president of UEFA, wanted a “white card” to be used as a punishment for disobedience. This would put the player in a 10-minute “sin bin.”
Platini came up with the white card as a way to stop the “craze of arguing with the referee,” which he called “a real epidemic in football.”
But the Frenchman’s ideas didn’t go anywhere.

Could it happen in England’s Premier League?

There isn’t much chance that the card will be used in the Premier League any time soon.
For now, it’s just a Portuguese idea and not something the International Football Association Board is in charge of, so we’ll watch to see how it goes over in the coming months.

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