No player wants to get a red or yellow card, but now there is one card that isn’t so bad: the green card.
For the first time ever, a player earned a green card in Serie B last week for good sportsmanship in a match between Virtus Entella and Vicenza.
Vicenza striker Cristian Galano admitted that a corner kick he earned actually should’ve been a goal kick. Referee Marco Mainardi made a point to show Galano the green card after the final whistle since green cards are not shown during the game. Here is the incident:
Serie B introduced the “green card” idea last year as a way to make sure acts of good sportsmanship don’t go unnoticed. There is no in-game reward for the green card, but the green cards are tracked and players who have the most will be recognized at the end of the season.
Italian officials said the green card was meant to “highlight those who help to make the game a game and not a battle by primal instincts.” For now, it’s only a symbolic recognition but maybe Serie B’s green card idea will start to spread. If it encourages less deception on the pitch, more leagues may look at taking it seriously.