Football Bookings: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you are stood on the sidelines of your little one’s football game and frantically searching for the rules of football bookings after they’ve made a questionable tackle or if you just want to clarify the rules after a booking on TV – we’re here to clarify everything you need to know about football bookings. 

Football Bookings

What does a yellow card mean in football?

Receiving a yellow card is a caution to a player who has committed a serious offence or misconduct. There are 6 offences which can lead to a yellow card which include: 

  • Entering or re-entering the field – if a player leaves the field of play without the permission of the referee in a deliberate manner whilst the game is in play – they will receive a yellow card. 
  • Delaying play from restarting – this is also known as time-wasting and can be a sly tactic used by the winning team to ensure that they keep their lead. Examples of this include excessive time being used for a free kick or taking it from an illegal position, knowing that it will have to be taken again. 
  • Not standing at the required distance – when a free kick or corner kick is being taken, opposing players must be stood at least 10 yards away from the ball. 
  • Unsportsmanship – this misconduct can relate to a whole number of actions which are not deemed as correct sportsmanship behaviour. An example of this could be diving during play or a celebration which is extravagant. 
  • Dissent – during gameplay the referee has complete control of the field and anything which challenges his authority can be classed as dissent. This could include loud or aggressively delivered comments by players towards the referee. 
  • Continuous breaking of laws –  some minor breaking of the rules will undoubtedly occur throughout a game, but if a player breaks the laws of the game repeatedly, then this could also result in a yellow card. 
Goalkeeper kicking ball

Can a player receive a match ban for multiple yellow cards? 

If a player receives a yellow card here and there, you may not think it will have an impact on future games, but this isn’t true. If a player accumulates a series of yellow cards during a specific time period, it can result in a match ban. We have broken it down for you to understand in the table below. 

Number of yellow cardsBefore match week Ban duration 
5Week 191 Game
10Week 322 Games 
15Week 383 Games 

Do yellow and red cards carry over all competitions?

No, if a player receives a yellow card in a Premier League match, it will not carry over to when the same individual plays in the FA Cup. 

This is not the case for red cards. If a player receives a red card in a Premier League match, this will apply to all competitions. 

What does a red card mean in football? 

A red card in football means that a player has committed serious misconduct and they must leave the field of play immediately. There are five main reasons a red card can be shown, which include: 

  • Receiving 2 yellow cards – this is one of the most commonly known ways to receive a red card. Two yellow cards equal a red card. 
  • Serious foul play – serious foul play is subjective and is down to the discretion of the referee; however, examples of serious foul play include actions which could potentially endanger or cause harm to another player such as two-footed tackles. 
  •  Abusive language or spitting – spitting is always a straight red card, and if offensive language is used towards another in a derogatory or racist way, this is also a red card offence. 
  • Violence – any form of violence including punches, kicks, kneeing or elbowing an opponent or official on the pitch will result in a red card. 
  • Fouling deliberately – deliberate fouls with the intention of stopping a goal-scoring opportunity is an automatic red card. This is also the case if a player tries to use their arms or hands to stop a goal. 
Man standing on a ball

How long does a red card ban last? 

If you’re wondering how many games your favourite player will miss after receiving a red card, then you are in the right place. The length of a match ban for a red card depends on the offence which the player received the card for. 

  • If a player gets sent off for receiving 2 yellow cards, this will result in a 1 match ban. 
  • If a player gets sent off for a professional foul and receives a red card, this will result in a 1 match ban. 
  • If a player questions the authority of the referee in an aggressive manner, you can usually expect a 2 match ban for this type of red card. 
  • Any violence from players usually results in a 3 match ban. 
  • Each red card case is reviewed individually, and a player can receive a longer or shorter match ban depending on the case. 

How many booking points is a red and yellow card? 

  • A yellow card is worth 10 booking points. 
  • A red card is worth 25 booking points. 
  • If a player is sent off for 2 bookable offences, this is 35 booking points.

Where did red and yellow cards come from?

During the 1966 World Cup, Ken Aston, who was in charge of all of the referees for the year, saw that there were communication issues. Due to the number of languages spoken, it was not always clear to players and spectators what the referee was trying to communicate. Hence, the red and yellow card system was introduced and was first used in the 1970 World Cup. It is now one of the most recognised card systems in stop and used widely around the world. 

Can a football manager get a red and yellow card? 

In July 2018 it was announced that managers can be issued red and yellow cards for misconduct in the technical area. Before this, match officials could only warn managers before sending them to the stands, but they can now be issued a yellow card for serious offences. If a manager receives 4 yellow cards across a season they will receive a touchline ban, 8 yellow cards and they will receive a 2 match ban, and if they’re causing enough trouble to receive 16 yellow cards, they will have to face an FA misconduct hearing. 

Middlesbrough Football Club gifts for the football enthusiast in your life

Here at MFC Official Direct, we have a range of gifts which the football enthusiast in your life will love including mugs which they can drink from every day to notepads and pens they can use for work or school. We also have a range of training kits for you to head to practice in, workout in or just laze around in.

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