Red cards in soccer are one of the worst punishments a player can receive during a game. A player who is shown a red card during a game of soccer is sent off the pitch and cannot be replaced by another player, leaving the team one man down.
A red card is shown after a player has been shown two yellow cards, or if the player has committed an offense that has been deemed too inappropriate for the game.
What Does a Red Card in Soccer Mean?
A red card in soccer is either granted after two yellow cards or after a serious offense. The behavior that can land a player with a red card is listed in the rules of soccer, and includes behavior such as:
- Serious Foul Play
What constitutes serious foul play is mostly up to the referee’s discretion, but it is usually behavior that can endanger another player’s safety or two-footed tackles.
Violence is strictly against the rules of soccer. Hitting, punching or kicking an opponent in a deliberate or violent manner will usually be dealt with by a red card.
- Abusive Language or Spitting
Deliberate spitting is nearly always a guaranteed red card. The use of derogatory, racist or otherwise abusive language is also prohibited and can also be punished immediately with a red card.
- Deliberate Fouling
This includes deliberately fouling to prevent a goal, and using one’s hands to deflect the ball (Handball).
- Being Shown two Yellow Cards
Being shown two yellow cards means an automatic red card will be given. This may be the easiest way to be given a red card, and is certainly the most common.