During a soccer game (association football), a red card symbolizes a serious foul where that player is automatically removed from the game. In addition to leaving the soccer pitch due to their red card actions, the coach can’t substitute that player from someone else, which means the team plays with one less player on the field.
So, what are ways that you can get a red card during a game? How is a red card different from a yellow card? Is there a fine that occurs if you receive a red card in a game? Here is the complete breakdown of what a red card means in soccer.
Difference Between a Yellow and Red Card in Soccer
A yellow card in soccer signals a non-serious action against the Laws of the Game. For example, a yellow card can occur for moments like delaying the restart of the action, flopping on purpose, entering the field without a referee’s permission, and taunting another player.
In soccer, a red card, or a professional foul, is a severe foul that occurs during a game and results in an automatic ejection from that match. Automatic red cards include things like snatching the notepad from the referee, kicking another player, throwing an object on the field, and a deliberate handball to save against a goal-scoring opportunity.
A red card means an intentional foul that a soccer player commits during a game that can harm or disrespect another person on the field. A yellow card can technically hurt a player, like a tackle from behind, but plays like that come down to a referee’s discretion on what penalty to issue.
How Often Do Red Cards vs. Yellow Cards Occur in the Premier League?
From 2015 to 2020, there were 230 red cards given in the Premier League. During that same timeframe, 6,181 yellow cards took place, which means 6,411 penalty cards between red and yellow during that period. During this time frame, red cards made up 3.58% of the penalty cards, which shows how uncommon it is to occur during a game or entire season.
Can You Get a Red Card for Getting a Second Yellow Card in the Same Game?
A player who obtains two yellow cards in the same game automatically receives a red card. That means a soccer player who gets one yellow card during the game needs to play more cautiously because they don’t want to risk getting a second penalty. Sometimes a soccer coach will replace a player who has a yellow card during a game because if they get a second yellow card, it turns red, and the team can’t replace that position on the field.
What are the Ways to Get a Red Card in Soccer (Association Football)?
There are numerous ways that a soccer player can receive a red card during a game. The referee can give out a red card before a warning or yellow card since it depends on their decision. Once the referee signals this serious offense, that player leaves the match for the rest of the game.
Here are some ways to get a red card during a soccer game.
- Headbutting another soccer player
- Using excessive force during a tackle
- A deliberate handball during a goal-scoring opportunity
- A serious foul play during an obvious goal moment for the opposing team. Once this occurs, the opposing team gets a free kick or penalty kick against the goalkeeper
- Spitting on a player
- Hitting a referee
- Over the top taunting, abusive language, rude gestures, unsporting conduct, and aggression
- Using your spikes to hurt another player
- Fighting another player
How Long Does a Red Card Last in Soccer?
Once a soccer player obtains a red card, they have to leave the field of play immediately. Most red cards last one match, but some can lead to multi-game suspensions depending on a player’s action.
Can the Soccer Manager Replace Your Spot if You Get Ejected?
If a player receives a red card during a soccer game, the coach can’t replace their spot on the pitch. Every professional soccer team has eleven players on the pitch during game day, so getting a red card puts your team at an automatic disadvantage since you have to play with one less player. That means if your team gets two red cards during a game, your team plays with two fewer players for the remainder of the game.
Is there a Fine that Occurs After a Game for Getting a Red Card?
Depending on the severity of a player’s action during a game, a payment fine may occur next. There is no universal fine that arises, if there is one, for a player getting a red card during a soccer game. It comes down to the league and the team to see how they want to handle further disciplinary actions.
For example, a player getting two yellow cards for relatively minor actions will hardly ever get a fine from the league. However, a player who violently attacks another player, or rips the notepad from the referee, may be subjected to a penalty fine that they need to pay before their next game.
How Many Games Do you Miss if You Get a Red Card?
Depending on the player’s actions during a game, they might miss the rest of the soccer match or be suspended up to three upcoming matches. The suspension for missing three games tends to occur for violent conduct during a game.
When Did the Red Card Enter FIFA?
The red and yellow card entered FIFA during the 1970 World Cup. Holding up the colored cards was a way for the referee to explain a player was guilty of serious foul play without explaining it if there was a language barrier.
All soccer players understand what the red card means, and they know they can’t sit the rest of the game in the technical area with their team. They must leave the field of play entirely since it is an ejection.
Can a Goalie Receive a Red Card?
A goalie can receive a red card for using their hands to block a shot outside the penalty area. Otherwise, a goalie can receive a red card the same way the outfield players can during a game. A goalie can receive a red card with abusive language, unnecessary force, and violent attacks on another player.
What Happens if a Soccer Team Loses their Goalie to a Red Card?
If a team loses their goalie to a red card infraction during a game, the soccer team has two options. First, if they have another goalie on their bench, they can put that player in but must remove an outfielder from the pitch for the rest of the game. During a red card, the penalty team must play with one less player on the pitch.
If no other goalies are on the bench, the soccer club must swap an outfielder from their current position and play goalie. Putting in a player who is not familiar with the goalie in that position is a severe disadvantage for that team, which is why the penalty is so powerful to receive.
Who Has the Most Number of Red Cards in their Soccer (association football) Career?
As of March 2022, Gerardo Bedoya holds the record for the most red cards with 46 in their soccer career. In second place is Sergio Ramos with 26, and in third place is Cyrill Rool with 25. In fourth place, Alexis Ruano Delgado has 22 red cards in their career.
Who Has the Most Number of Red Cards in MLS History?
According to Be Soccer, Roger Espinoza holds the most red cards in MLS history with 12.
Conclusion: What Does a Red Card Mean in Soccer?
In summary, a red card in soccer is a serious foul against a player that occurs during a game and results in a match ban for the remainder of the game. Getting a red card also disadvantages your team because they can’t replace your position, so they play the game with one less player. A player can also get a red card if they receive two yellow cards during a game, so players need to play with more caution for the rest of the game to limit any chance of another penalty.