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Top 5 games with multiple red cards

Written by: Debajit Sarma

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These games will be remembered for all the wrong reasons

The quarterfinal clash between FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC in the Super Cup on Thursday will be etched in the memory of the Indian football fan for a long time to come for all the wrong reasons. In a first for the domestic game, the referee decided to send off three players from either team for a brawl in the tunnel at halftime between the two sides.

For the second half, the fans got to witness the unusual sight of an 8 Vs 8 game that closely resembled a training match. The Jamshedpur manager lambasted the officiating, saying the match dissolved into a farce

In view of the events at the Kalinga Stadium, Khel Now takes a look at five games around the world in which the red card count raised a lot of eyebrows.

1# Battle of Saltergate: Chesterfield Town Vs Plymouth Argyle 1997

It was a manic match in the Football League

The English record for the game with the highest number of red cards (5) was attained when Plymouth made a visit to Chesterfield for a second division clash in 1997. Plymouth had a man sent off in the early minutes of the first half for a reckless two-footed tackle, but came back strongly from the numerical disadvantage to lead 2-1 in the match. However all hell broke loose in the 88th minute when challenging for a cross, Plymouth’s goalkeeper and former Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar was flattened by the elbow of a Chesterfield player.

This resulted in a goalmouth brawl between the two teams that saw kicks and punches flying in all directions and even saw fans invade the pitch. The referee had to intervene and sent off two players each from either side.

2# Espanyol Vs Barcelona 2003

This Catalan Derby is remembered for all the wrong reasons

Barcelona’s visit to local rivals Espanyol in a ‘Derbi Barceloni’ match in the 2003 season set the record for the most number of red cards in the Spanish top flight (6). In an ill-tempered match, both Barcelona and Espanyol had Phillip Cocu and Ivan De la Pena respectively sent off for straight reds.

Later Rafael Marquez, Ricardo Quaresma, Alberto Lopo and Toni Soldevilla were sent off for second bookable offences leaving the teams to finish with eight players each. Barcelona won the game 3-1 courtesy a brace from Patrick Kluivert and another from Ronaldinho. Jordi Cruyff reduced the deficit for the hosts.


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3# Battle of Nuremberg: Portugal Vs the Netherlands 2006 World Cup

This clash between two European heabyweights descended into chaos

The most high-profile match on the list, it was a round of 16 clash between Portugal and the Netherlands and because of its tempestuous nature was nicknamed the Battle of Nuremberg. Referee Valentin Ivanov brandished a total of four red and 16 yellow cards setting the record for the highest card count at any FIFA administered tournament.

The match was characterized by a number of bad fouls and frequent fisticuffs between opposition players and saw Costinha, Deco, Khalid Boulharouz, Giovanni van Bronckhorst being sent off meaning both sides finished with nine men. Portugal won the game 1-0 with Maniche netting the winner. Then FIFA President Sepp Blatter later criticized the referee for his poor performance and suggested that Ivanov should have awarded himself a yellow card.

4# Bahia Vs Vitoria 2018

By the time this game ended only six players were left on the pitch for the hosts

On 19th February 2018, a derby match between Vitoria and Bahia in the Bahia State Championship was abandoned with 11 minutes remaining after the hosts were reduced to six men.

In the 49th minute, Bahia player Vinicius equalised from the penalty spot and celebrated with a provocative dance in front of the Vitoria supporters which incensed the home team resulting in a free for all mass punch-up between the two teams, leading the referee to send off five men, three from Bahia and two from Vitoria.

Two more players, one from each side, were sent off a couple of minutes later, as tempers frayed and trouble spread to the terraces.

With 13 minutes left, a fourth Vitoria player was sent off, prompting Bruno Bispo to kick the ball away and force the referee into awarding him his second yellow and a match-ending red.

5# Claypole vs Victoriano Arenas 2011

This one comes from the Argentinian fifth tier

This match in the Argentinian fifth tier takes the cake in the list, for the referee brandished an atrocious 36 red cards. Yes, you read that right, 36!

The match began with a lot of pushing and shoving and by the end of the first half, two players were already banished. The second half saw the game become uglier with players lunging into tackles and frequently squaring up against one another. It all boiled over when a mass brawl erupted that saw managers, coaches and substitutes race onto the pitch with their fists flying, joined in even by a few fans. It required police intervention to quell the trouble.

Referee Damian Rubino later filed his match report, in which he saw fit to serve every player with a red card, along with a further 14 people, consisting of coaches and substitutes.

Published: Thu Apr 26, 2018 07:14 PM IST

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