Tuesday, January 24, 2023
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WATCH: Referee shows white card for first time in Portuguese football match

White card in football was introduced to encourage sportsmanship and fair play

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Referee Catarina Campos shows white card to both teams.— Screengrab via Twitter/@B24PT
Referee Catarina Campos shows white card to both teams.— Screengrab via Twitter/@B24PT

For the first time ever, a white card was issued in a football game in Portugal.

The incident occurred on Saturday during a women's cup game between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica when medical personnel from both teams raced to assist a supporter who had fainted in the stands as Benfica led 3-0 at the half.

There were cheers and applause coming from the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.

What's a white card in football?

The Portuguese Football Federation has adopted the cards, which were launched as a project of Portugal's National Plan for Ethics in Sport to promote fair play.

The specific function of the white card and the repercussions of receiving one have not yet been disclosed. It is meant to serve as a warning to players who act unsportsmanlike on the field without meriting a yellow card, for example for criticising the authorities.

The white card has only been used by Portugal thus far. Red and yellow cards are used to punish players for wrongdoing or misconduct.

In order to go to the semifinals, Benfica triumphed 5-0.

Over 15,000 spectators attended the game, breaking the previous record of 14,221 established in May of last year and breaking the attendance record for women's football in Portugal.

Although the usage of the white card in the game on Saturday was applauded, it is unclear how fans will respond to the use if it is implemented more frequently.

Following a FIFA mandate, stoppage time was extended at the conclusion of each half during the World Cup in Qatar to compensate for "unnatural lost time."

The addition of stoppages resulted from player time-wasting, injury treatment, protracted goal celebrations, substitutions, VAR interventions, and yellow or red cards.