White card was shown during a football match© Twitter
There are hardly any football fans who are not familiar with the yellow and red cards but during a women’s cup quarter-final encounter between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, the world was introduced to the white card. With Benfica leading 3-0 just ahead of the half-time, Portuguese referee Catarina Campos decided to show the white card – a move that resulted in massive cheer from the Estadio da Luz crowd. The yellow and red cards have become an integral part of the game since their inception in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, but a lot of fans were left confused with the purpose and use of the white card.
As equipas médicas de Benfica e Sporting receberam cartão branco após assistirem uma pessoa que se sentiu mal na bancada 👏 pic.twitter.com/ihin0FAlJF
— B24 (@B24PT) January 21, 2023
According to the new initiative launched by Portugal’s National Plan for Ethics in Sport (PNED), the white card is shown to recognise acts of fair play on the field. The pilot project was implemented in the Portuguese leagues with the guidance of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF).
Besides the white card, the Portuguese football authorities have also adopted concussion substitutions as well as longer stoppage time which works as a deterrent for teams who try to waste time.
During the match between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, a fan in the stands fell sick and fainted. The team medics from both sides rushed to the stands to handle the situation and the spectator was given medical treatment within a few minutes. The white card was shown in appreciation for the medics.
Benfica went on to win the encounter 5-0 in front of a record crowd for a women’s football game in Portugal.
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