What Is A Red Card In Soccer? Full Guide

What is the meaning of a red card in soccer?

In the game of football/soccer as called by most countries a red card only means one thing. It is a card that the official, who is usually the referee pulls out for a foul play which results in the immediate dismissal of a player from a game.

And note; There can be several other reasons why a soccer player can have a red card pulled out on him. A soccer player can likely get a red card if the referee has earlier on pulled a yellow card twice on him. This scenario automatically leads to a red card in soccer as the red card follows after two yellows have been brandished to a single player in a game.

Once this is the case, the player is asked to leave the pitch, sometimes he or she can be suspended for one match or more matches depending on the player’s misconduct.

Difference between a yellow card and a red card in soccer

The game of soccer is a very sensitive game likewise other ball games too. So any unruly behavior of any player is strictly prohibited, by this, these are the two most important official cards in the game.

  • The yellow card
  • The red card

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The Yellow Card

The yellow card is given to a player most especially by the official referee to sound as a sort of warning to any player for misconduct. Most times it’s the first card given to a player who acts unruly but in some cases, the referee may decide to issue a player with the red card first depending on his or her offense.

The Red Card

The red card is the most fierce card. This card is issued after a player has received a yellow twice. But sometimes it can be given just once by the official without caution, and it is the case when the foul play or offense is dangerous.

How often do red cards and yellow cards occur in a soccer match?

The total number of fouls that result in a player getting any of the cards varies. According to FIFA rules and regulations, a player can only receive a yellow card twice in a single match. 

The first yellow card acts as a warning and the next yellow card means expulsion because it usually comes up with a red card as well. A direct red card on any soccer player in a match automatically causes 3 of his matches suspended, that’s the rule of FIFA.

Can you get a red card for getting a yellow card twice in the same game?

Just like what we said earlier on, the game of soccer is a sensitive game, and any act of misconduct by any player, not excluding the goalkeeper would be dealt with.

And most times it leads to a match suspension, or it can even lead to more matches suspended depending on how ugly the case looks.

Now, asking if two yellow cards given to a player can result in a red card. Yes, it can result in a red card which is one of the rules guiding soccer as a sport. And once a player becomes a victim, he has to leave the soccer pitch and is suspended from the match by the official.

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How does a player get a red card in a soccer game?

Anything centered on violence when playing the game of soccer can result in a red card no matter how small it might look. 

Soccer as a sport is against the idea of violence so if any iota of it is found, then the player will face a penalty. Below are some of the things that can lead to a red card during a soccer match.

  • Trying to fight an opponent
  • Bullying an official
  • Blocking or pushing an opponent as if indicating violence
  • Persistent foul play
  • Spitting on a player
  • Abusive language, and rude gestures, amongst others.

What is the duration of a Red Card in Soccer? 

How long does a red card last in soccer?. This depends on the offense that the player is guilty of. Some red cards can just lead to a one-match suspension, whereas some others can be so serious that they can lead to a three-match suspension. It all depends on the player’s offense.

Can the Soccer Manager replace a player that has been dismissed during a match?

This is one of the most asked questions relating to the dismissal of a player after a red card has been brandished. However, the answer to the above question is NO. 

The soccer manager can’t possibly do anything on the spot if a player eventually gets a red card and is suspended. The implication is that the offender’s team will have to play with a man down, resulting in a numerical disadvantage which usually works to the advantage of their rivals on the day.

Will a player be fined for receiving a red card in a soccer game?

The action of the player usually defines if he eventually faces a fine, but most times the player is only suspended for one match or three matches as the case may be. 

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The only reason why a player is most likely to meet up a fine is in the sense of showing brutality and violence. For e.g If a player uses vulgar words and abusive expressions for an official, that can eventually result in a fine.

How many matches do players miss for getting a red card?

It all depends as well. If a player, gets a yellow card twice he will be suspended for just one match but if he gets a direct red card then he will be on suspension for three matches.

When did FIFA introduce the Red Card?

The red card was first used in Mexico in 1970. It became an official tool by the referee and soon afterward it became a major soccer tool.

Can a goalkeeper receive a red card?

The laws of the game state that “the act of a goalkeeper denying the opposing team a goal or goal scoring opportunity by handling the ball outside their penalty area is a red card offense.

And just like what happens to any player who is guilty of an offense, the same applies to a goalkeeper. 

If he is an offender he will also be suspended and the team will play with one less player unless they can sub in a goalie to replace him. Regardless, they’ll have a numerical disadvantage.

What happens if a soccer team losses its goalkeeper to a red card?

The exact same thing happens when a player is found guilty he is suspended. It’s the same with a goalkeeper who is guilty he gets suspended and the only thing for the team to do is to either play with one less player if they have no alternative goalie or if they do have an alternative goalie they can put that one to replace the former.

Who has the most number of red cards in their soccer career?

Paris Saint-Germain defender Sergio Ramos is said to be the player with the most number of red cards in the 21st century. He has had about 27 red cards since his soccer career and he amassed the majority of them during his time in Real Madrid.

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Who has the most number of red cards in MLS history?

Sporting Kansas’ Roger Espinoza is said to be the player with the most number of red cards in Major League Soccer history. Recording about 12 red cards in his career.


All in all, it is a bit awful to get face the penalty for misconduct, most especially when it comes to soccer.

However, these systems should be in place to enforce order during the round leather game of soccer.

Suspensions can cause a lot of damage not only to the offender but to the whole team as well, as there will not be a replacement of any player that’s suspended. 

A numerical disadvantage in a soccer game due to a red card usually leads to a loss for the infringing team.

It’s very rare to see a side with 10 men after a red card beat a side that has all 11 players on the pitch and raring to go. It happens occasionally in the game though.