In the beginning cards were not used in football, referees indicated fouls using their voices.


It was a great game in 1966 World Cup which changed everything, the quarter final between Argentina and England. Due to violent behaviour, Antonio Ubaldo Rattin was sent off, he pretended to have not heard his punishment. It took minutes for him to return to the locker room. But another problem arose with Charlton brothers, Bobby and Jack were both cautioned during the game but they only found out by reading the paper the next day!

This was the last straw for FIFA, which decided to change things. Ken Aston, chairman of the referee’s Committee was asked to find a solution; After giving it some thought, he finally found an answer. He decided using more visual method would make decisions clearer [CARDS].


But colours didn’t come to his mind right away. Everything clicked into place when he was driving home.

‘‘I was driving and the traffic light went red. I said to myself: Yellow, warning; red, you are off.’’

That’s how the yellow, red and green cards were created. But it wasn’t until 1970 World Cup that cards were used. Cards are now anonymous with football!


But the green card is no longer used since 2004; it was used for allowing the medical staff to come on field. Today, the referee just give a hand signal.