A white card was shown by a referee in charge of Saturday’s clash between rivals Sporting Lisbon and Benfica.
Yellow and red cards have been part and parcel of football for decades now, so the sight of a white card will look bizarre to pretty much every football fan.
The new card was shown shortly before half-time of the women’s fixture in Portugal.
Benfica were 3-0 up when the ref pulled the white card out and brandished it in the same way a match official would a yellow or red card.
Per JOE, this is the first time the white card has been used.
Video: White card is shown by the referee:-
But what does a white card mean and when is it used?
According to The Sun, someone on the bench in the dugout fell ill at the end of the first half.
Medical staff from both sides subsequently rushed to the person’s aid.
Once the issue was dealt with, the referee then brandished the white card, much to the delight of fans inside the Estadio da Luz.
Unlike yellow and red cards, which punish teams for breaking football’s rules, white cards are designed to recognise and praise clubs for fair play.
Part of a new initiative in Portugal, the hope is that a white card encourages ethical values in sport.
On this particular occasion, the white card appears to have been shown in the direction of the medical staff who were quick on the scene to treat the person in the dugout.
It sounds like a nice idea, doesn’t it?
The white card provides immediate recognition for positive action during a football match.
While the initiative isn’t widespread just yet, it’s part of a series of new introductions in football, which also include concussion substitutions and longer stoppage time – as seen in the recent World Cup in Qatar.
As for the match, Benfica went on to score two more goals, wrapping up a convincing 5-0 victory in the cup quarter-final tie.