Referee shows footballer a WHITE CARD in Portugal

Referee shows footballer a WHITE CARD in Portugal, with rarely-used new rule put into action – despite not being picked up in other countries

  • A rarely-seen white card has been shown in a fifth division match in Portugal 
  • The card was brandished to a player after a remarkable act of sportsmanship 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’

A Portuguese fifth division player has been shown an incredibly rare white card after a remarkable act of sportsmanship.

Playing in a lower league game, the forward was presented with a golden opportunity to score when the opposing defender gave the ball away on the edge of his own penalty box and immediately went down injured and in significant pain.

Many would have run through and tried to score, but the attacker quickly realised the defender was badly hurt and turned away from goal before kicking the ball out for a throw-in so he could receive treatment.

The sporting gesture was applauded by the fans in attendance, and was swiftly recognised by the referee who walked over to the player and brandished the white card.

The white card was recently introduced by Portugal’s National Plan for Ethics in Sport in an attempt to improve fair play in the game, and this certainly appeared an appropriate time for it to be used.

A player was shown a white card in Portugal for their sporting act of putting the ball out of play when through on goal after their opponent went down with a serious injury

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The referee and the forward shook hands after the card was given, while a medic ran onto the pitch to attend to the injured player.

Fortunately, he was able to get back to his feet and was helped off the pitch by the medic and his opponent to warm applause from the crowd.

It is believed that this is the first time the white card has been used in the men’s game, but it has been shown in women’s football in Portugal.

Back in January, a match between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica was paused when someone on the bench fell ill and both medical teams rushed over to help them.

A white card was also shown during a women’s match in Portugal back in January

This came after both medical teams rushed over to someone who had fallen ill in the dugout

After the matter had been attended to, the referee showed the white card to both medical teams for coming together to deal with the issue, and this led to loud applause from the fans in the stands.

Former UEFA president Michel Platini previously called for a white card to be used in football to punish players for dissent, suggesting it could result in players being sin-binned for 10 minutes – a common punishment in rugby for indiscretions.

Portugal have decided to bring it in for another reason, though, to reward players for fair play, and it has now been used on multiple occasions.

However, the initiative is yet to be picked up by other countries at this stage. 


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It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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