Red Cards play a big part in the game of football, as a referee handing one of these out, can have a huge impact on many factors.
While no one sets out to get one before a game, they are fairly common within the game.
So if you have seen one being given, maybe on the TV or in a game you were playing, you may be wondering why?
The idea of this post is to go through everything you need to know about Red Cards.
From why, who can get them through to what happens after one is given.
Table of Contents
What Is A Red Card?
Red Cards is one of the two cards that referees have in their pockets during a game.
A red card means a footballer must leave the field with immediate effect.
They are issued as disciplinary action against a player who has committed an offense they have done on the field.
The impact of this card has more ramifications compared to a yellow card, which is the other one referees hand out.
What Are The Reasons For Giving Them Out?
Now cards, in general, aren’t handed out for no reason.
To get one a player has committed one or several offenses to get one.
Now there are a number of offenses that warrant red cards, and in this section, I will go over the reasons why a ref will give them out.
Fouled A Player Too Many Times
Now while this is all to the interpretation of the referee, if a player makes numerous fouls in a game, then they will get a red card.
Typically a ref will give a warning to a players first challenge.
This though depends a lot on how bad it is if its slightly mistimed they will get a warning.
If its really late then they will get a yellow card instead, and a further warning to not repeat the challenge again.
As you can imagine with how fast the game is and the emotions of it, its common for players to make numerous bad challenges in a game.
If a player is already on a yellow card and made several fouls already, then they will be given a second yellow which equates to a red.
Referees have clamped down in previous years by making sure that any reckless challenge is punished with a red.
While back in the day, it was normal for players to go in two-footed and just get a warning.
However doing such a challenge in this day and age, will result in a red card.
This will include:
- Tackles from behind
- Leaving the ground
- Studs facing upwards
These types of challenges are viewed as dangerous, and therefore means the player must be punished for doing it.
Off The Ball Incident
Over my career so far, I have had one situation where I have been sent off for an off-ball incident.
This can happen when emotions are high and all rational thinking is completely gone.
When this does occur, and a player or more gets physical, it can lead to a red card.
Things like getting into an opponent’s face, headbutting, hitting, kicking, and even spitting, are almost always a red card.
Last Man Standing
Another reason for giving a red card is for the last man standing.
If an attacking player is brought down by the last defender, then the defender will receive a red card.
The reason for this is because its the denial of a goalscoring opportunity.
For handball offenses, it all depends on how the player moves their hand.
If they move it to the ball, then they are at risk of getting a red.
Especially if the ball is going towards a goal, with the chance of it going in the net if it wasn’t for the hand.
Times, where red cards aren’t given for handballs, is when a player has accidentally handled it.
What Happens When A Player Gets A Red Card?
Unlike when a yellow is given, more things happen when a red card is given.
In this section, I will go over a few of the things that happen when these are issued in games.
1. VAR Checks
Now in most leagues at a professional level, there is VAR, when this is used every game-changing decision is overlooked.
This includes goals, penalties, and red cards. So when a red card is given, it will be checked by officials of the field to make sure it is correct.
Typically if a referee gives a red card, its normally the final decision.
However it will be checked to make sure it is, and if the VAR officials suggest it isn’t and maybe warrants a yellow instead they will be asked to look further at it.
As a result, a red card incident can take anywhere between a few seconds, where a player has made a clear red card offense.
To several minutes to allow VAR of the referee to look at the monitor to check it.
This only happens in the top leagues, so from championship to grassroots, red cards will be instant dismissals with no decision change.
2. Leave The Field
When a red card is given it means that the player must leave the field.
It means that for the remainder of the game, they can’t take part further.
It also has repercussions for the team, as they will have to play the rest of the match a man down.
This can have a huge impact on tactics and how a team attacks, has they are at a disadvantage.
When given players will have to leave the field with immediate effect.
Unless a VAR check as I was talking about above is ongoing.
As there have been instances where a player has left the field but been told to come back on, due to this check.
In this kind of scenario, a red would be changed to a yellow.
When players leave the field they must be out of sight too.
Meaning a player can’t go and sit on the bench with the rest of the squad, they must go back into the changing rooms.
On occasion, you will have players who put up a fight, who refuse to leave the pitch.
When this happens, and it doesn’t occur regularly but there are further punishments issued to that player.
Some of which I will go over in the next part.
3. Suspension Rules
Not being able to play the rest of the game due to a red card sucks.
If you have been given one you will know exactly what I am talking about.
However, where it gets tough, is with the suspension rules on top.
As depending on the severity of the offense in the game, players can face many games out.
This goes as follows and is explained here:
- Two Yellow Cards: One Match Ban
- Professional Foul: One Match Ban
- Dissent: Two Match Ban
- Violent Conduct: Three Match Ban
These are the rules for red cards that are followed by the Premier League and other leagues too.
A three-match ban is normally the maximum, however, if the offense is really bad, it can be even more than that.
I have seen cases where a player has been banned for a whole season, although these aren’t common.
If a player was to get sent off in the last few games of a season, then depending on the length of the ban.
That player would then miss that amount of games next season.
Which Players Can Get A Red Card?
There are no exemptions in football meaning anyone on the field can receive a red card.
So no matter if its the keeper or even a player on the bench, they can get a red card.
I do hope this post gave you a good idea of the use, effects, and consequences of red cards.
If you want to learn more about the other card in the refs pocket, you can learn about the 7 reasons why footballers get yellow cards here.
Some other interesting articles I recommend you check out related to this post consist of:
- 3 Reasons Why Soccer Players Argue With Refs (Explained!)
- These 5 Reasons Are Why Soccer Players Celebrate So Much