First ever white card shown in football match and receives r
The card, which is shown to recognise and encourage fair play, was brandished by referee Catarina Campos during the cup tie, marking the very first time it was used in professional football
A historic moment took place in a Portuguesewomens cup matchbetween Sporting Lisbon and Benfica when a white card was shown for the veryfirst time.
The card, which is shown to recognise and encourage fair play, was brandished by referee Catarina Campos during the match marking its maiden appearance inprofessional football. Despite a fierce rivalry existing between the two clubs, a clear example of sportsmanship in the Taca de Portugal cup tie gave the official the opportunity to use the new tool.
With Benfica leading theirPortuguese rivals 3-0on Sunday, medical staff from both clubs ran to the aid of a fan who had fainted in the stands just before the 44th minute of play. The Estadio da Luz crowd gave a rapturous reception to Campos decision, with the medics involved applauded as they returned to their respective benches.
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With the players originally looking confused when the referee took to his pocket before Campos became the first match official to show a card of any colour other than yellow or red. Traditionally cards in football are only shown when poor discipline is displayed but this may change across the game in years to come.
Benfica went on to win the game, which will now go down in the history books, 5-0 and advance to the last four of Portugals equivalent of the FA Womens Cup. The white card is one of many new introductions from FIFA seen in recent times, along with extended stoppage time to guard against time-wasting, which was heavily in use at the mens World Cup last year and concussion substitutes.
However, so far it is only in use in Portugal meaning it will be some time before fans see it in-use in the WSL orPremier League, if they ever do. The introduction of the white card is part of a new initiative to encourage teams to act in a sporting manner and receive instant recognition for their positive actions.
Essentially the card is designed to give either players or coaches and members of staff immediate recognition for a positive act during a match. It wont be seen in England for time being, as the initiative to use the card comes from Portugals governing body, rather than lawmakers IFAB.
The card is essentially more of a symbolic gesture, rather than punishing or rewarding teams as a game-changing action. But judging by the warm reception it received from fans inside the Estadio da Luz, the white card could be here to stay.
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