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Italian soccer league introduces green card scheme – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 8th, 2015 by Ian

Italian soccer league introduces green card scheme
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The referees’ cards will resemble traffic lights this season in the Italian Serie B. The second tier of Italian football recently announced it will be issuing green cards to go along with the existing yellows and reds. The cards are reportedly virtual in nature so fans won’t see referees actually brandishing them on the pitch. The green cards have been introduced as a way to reward fair play on the pitch. Andrea Abodi, the president of the league told the media on September 4th, “We need to provide good examples because clearly they’re lacking lately.”

The green virtual green cards are awarded after the match officials get together after games and decide which players should be rewarded. The award can go to players on the field, those on the bench and even to a club’s manager. Abodi said the decision is completely up to the officials, but a player or manager must have t perform an extraordinary act of sportsmanship to be awarded a card, not just an ordinary act of sportsmanship. However, the way football’s played these days we could go the entire season without seeing anybody awarded one of these green cards.

When the 2015/16 Serie B season has been completed, the players and managers with the most green cards to their names will receive recognition for it by receiving some sort of award. Abodi stated that it will be a symbolic award and the league isn’t exactly sure what it will be at the moment as it’s something that’s still being developed. Abodi added that instances of fair play which could lead to a green card include admitting a handball, kicking the ball out of play when an opposing player is injured and to admit to diving in the box if a penalty is incorrectly awarded.

This green card initiative is being introduced by a league which is kicking its season off several weeks behind schedule because of a match-fixing investigation. Abodi said the league also has to decide when to publicly announce the recipients of green cards. He remarked that one possibility is to do it after every game or to just announce them every few weeks. He told the press, “The referees think periodic announcements would be better to avoid linking them to controversy of specific matches while memories are still fresh.”

As well as launching this green card scheme, Serie B will also ask club captains, managers and presidents to pledge a fair play oath before the campaign gets underway. He added, “This is just one part of a series of initiatives on and off the pitch. Respect has to come first. And that’s where this green card comes into play.” Abodi went on to say that the Serie B is happy to experiment with the scheme this season and if it works well then it will be up to Serie A to decide if they want to implement it in the future.

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