Referee Raymond Mashamba made history this weekend as he became the first official in British football history to show a player a green card for dissent.
Yes, you read that right, a green card.
The new idea has been rolled out at the CONFIA World Football Cup this weekend, which sees 16 national teams representing unrecognised states and regions go to head-to-head in a number of stadiums dotted around London.
The tournament is the one of the first of its kind to use a green card as a means of punishing a player during a match.
So, what are the differences between a green card and a traditional red or yellow?
Well, it seems the card is predominantly used to deter players from disrespecting the referee.
CONIFA rules state that: “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.”
The first round of group games on Thursday were somewhat anti-climatic as they failed to produce the new card, however, it made it’s first appearance on Saturday afternoon.
Match official Mashamba was the refereeing the Group C match between Padania and Tuvalu, when he decided to use the new green card twice.
The competition’s organiser Paul Watson said via Sky Sports, “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.
“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.”
What do you think of the idea of using a green card? Would it stop players from hounding the referee?
Or is it just a way of over-complicating the game?
Let us know your thoughts!