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The crazy story of football cards

Fifa waited for many years before introducing yellow and red cards synonymous with warnings and exclusions.

Soon 3 years after the scandal of his tackle sent to Diego Carlos during a Nantes-PSG, in January 2018, Tony Chapron is an excellent consultant on arbitration issues in the Late Football Club show (Canal +). The 48-year-old former referee thus told, Monday evening, the appearance of yellow and red cards in football. And it is fascinating.

When the police make the police

The first warning in the history of the World Cup was given during the 1970 edition, in Chile, during a Mexico-USSR. But the history of exclusions began much earlier. At the World 62, in Chile, during “the battle of Santiago”, between the host selection and Italy, the English referee Ken Aston excluded two players. It took the intervention of the police to get the two sanctioned players out!

This same Ken Aston was then chosen by Fifa to be the head of referees during the World Cup 66 (on his land, therefore). Bis repetita. A German referee decided to exclude a player, who had just insulted him, but without being able to clearly communicate to all the other people in the stage of this decision. The police intervened again!

His wife materializes the idea

On returning home, by car, Ken Aston has a bright idea in front of a traffic light, then two-tone (yellow and red). He has just found a way for the referees to make themselves understood all over the world. His wife will make two boxes for him, one of each color, and the proposal will be made to Fifa, as Tony Chapron tells it.

It was not until the 1974 World Cup to know the first red card in history, with the exclusion of a Chilean player. In France, cardboard boxes made their appearance in the 1972-1973 season.