Following on from Eden Hazard’s ridiculous red card this evening for kicking a ball-“boy” in the League Cup semi-final second leg against Swansea, here are another few weird red cards that came to mind.
1. Andre Bikey, Cameroon v Ghana, Africa Cup of Nations 2008
With time running out in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations and Cameroon holding a slender lead against the hosts, Rigobert Song goes down injured. The stadium medics come on to treat him… at which point Bikey barges one over. The referee is given no choice but to send him off, and Bikey is fined £5,000, missing the final.
2. Jamie Carragher, Liverpool v Arsenal, FA Cup, 2002
A heated FA Cup fourth round tie at Highbury for this one. Jamie Carragher has a coin thrown at him by the home supporters…and then deems it necessary to chuck it back into the crowd. Referee Mike Riley shows him a red card, as Arsenal win 1-0 despite losing Dennis Bergkamp and Martin Keown to similarly coloured bits of paper (though not for throwing money at people).
3.Samuel Inkoom, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v Karpaty Lviv, 2011
On 60 minutes, with his side 1-0 up away in Lviv, Ghanaian international Inkoom’s number comes up and he wanders off the pitch to be substituted. Showing not a little petulance, he removes his shirt as he leaves the field. Just before he gets to the touchline and is able to give his team-mate ten and let him on the field, the rather over-officious referee catches up with him, showing him a second yellow and a red for removing his shirt on the field of play.
4.Antonio Luna, Sevilla v Atletico Madrid, 2012
Did I mention I went to the Vicente Calderon in November last year? As well as providing a thumping great win for the home team, this game also provided 3 red cards for Sevilla, the strangest of which was undoubtedly shown to Mr Luna. It’s something I’ve not seen before at a live game anyway. With barely 10 minutes left and his team already 3 down and on their way to a rather comprehensive defeat, unused substitute Mr Luna decides to direct some extremely naughty language towards referee Iglesias Villanueva. Señor Villanueva responded in kind by asking him to take his leave from the substitutes’ bench.
5. & 6. Emil Kremenliev and Luis Garcia, Bulgaria v Mexico, 1994
In a match which was notable for reasons such as a fantastic Hristo Stoichkov goal and a 10-minute delay due to a collapsed goal net, this World Cup last-16 tie was notable for something else: the utterly abject performance of Syrian referee Jamal Al Sharif. Bulgarian defender Kremenliev received a second yellow after 50 minutes for vaguely brushing Mexican midfielder Alberto Garcia Aspe. The ref clearly felt the need to even the numbers up 7 minutes later, quickly booking then sending off Garcia, the second yellow for accidentally kicking a Bulgarian going for a 50/50. The two sides played out a fairly insipid 60 minutes thereafter, the Bulgarians eventually progressing to the quarters on penalties.
7. Ronaldino, Milan v Inter, 2009
It’s derby day and Milan are 1 down. Ronaldinho steps up for free kick on the edge of the area in an attempt to bring his side level. He takes the free-kick too quickly for the referee’s liking, and is issued with a red card. Hold on, red? The referee very quickly realises his mistake and before he is pelted with rotten tomatoes by half the San Siro, quickly replaces the red with a yellow. Ronaldinho sees the funny side, thankfully.
I realise this is just a brief dip into a larger array of daft red cards – if anyone can think of any others, please share them.