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Sporting CP vs Benfica is the only game in football history to feature a white card

Jack Kenmare

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Sporting CP vs Benfica is the only game in football history to feature a white card

A women's cup clash between Sporting CP vs Benfica remains the only game in football history to feature a white card.

Back in January, during the semi-final first leg of the Taça da Liga Feminina in Lisbon, referee Catarina Campos made history when she brandished the first-ever white card.

In the 44th minute, with Benfica leading 3-0 against their cross-city rivals, a woman in the crowd had complained of feeling unwell in the stands.

Medical staff from both teams moved quickly to help out and, after seeing their heroic actions, Campos reached for her top pocket.

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In recognition of their sportsmanship, the official awarded a white card to those involved and was cheered and applauded by the 15,000 fans in attendance at the Estadio da Luz.

Image credit:Twitter/@Canal_11Oficial
Image credit:Twitter/@Canal_11Oficial

The white card is designed to show recognition to clubs for acts of fair play and sportsmanship during a match. This, in turn, will try and improve ethical value in the sport.

Its use is an initiative of Portugal's National Plan for Ethics in Sport (PNED) to influence practice sport with fair play, and the actions have been encouraged by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) in their tournaments.

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There are no benefits or demerits of receiving a white card.

At present, the white card remains confined to Portugal as it is yet to be approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

On the subject of history-making cards, the green card was used for the first time in 2018 during the CONIFA World Football Cup, which is a tournament for non-FIFA affiliated international teams.

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During the match, the referee stopped the match and showed a player the green card and ordered him to leave the pitch.

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According to CONIFA regulations, a player who receives a green card must leave the field of play immediately, but can be replaced if his team have not used all of their substitutes.

A player receiving a green card is not excluded from his team's next match.

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The tournament’s organiser, Paul Watson spoke to Sky Sports about the use of the green card. He said: “We'd really like to clamp down on the dissent problem. Football has a problem with the lack of respect for referees.

"That's not to say that isn't also the case in CONIFA games - the players in our tournament still have those traits."

He added: "But it would be nice that, instead of it being ignored and therefore in a way condoned, it shouldn't necessarily cost someone their chance to play at this tournament, if they just lose their cool.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Canal_11Oficial

Topics: Sporting CP, Benfica, Portugal

Jack Kenmare
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