Portugese players can’t stop after first yellow card

The last card stats: Portugal also leads the second yellow card competition.

Players in Portugese Liga ZON Sagres also got the most yellow and straight red cards on average per match.

(NB: I’m working on a visualisation of the totals, but that takes some time because I’ve to work. Hope to get it on the blog before the end of the week.)

A short explanation for the the infographic below. It shows the countries where most second yellow cards are given based on data from Worldfootball.net and Futebol365.pt. How darker the tint, the more reds due to second yellow are handed out.

Portugal scores 0,233333 in the stats, which means that after approximately (1/0.233333=) 4 matches a red card is given due to a second yellow. Number 2: Greece (after 4,44 matches). Equal on 3: Russia and Austria (after 5,45 matches). Danish players have the best score: red due to second yellow after just 22 matches.

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No data available of light blue countries.

Portugal turns yellow too; Swedes not

Exactly 39 years ago, the first yellow cards were handed out in the Dutch national league. Seven were booked at the start of the 1972/1973 season, but media still struggle to figure out who got the card first.

Youngest Fifa referee at that moment, 31-year-old Jan Keizer from Volendam, announced one day before the tournament in De Telegraaf that ‘referees will hand out yellow cards much faster than they did before when referees just gave warnings’. They had to be more strict on ‘laying down an opponent’ and ‘not taking enough distance when you’re in the wall’.

Keizer was happy with the new measures. “They are fantastic, because they’re of importance for the real football lovers.” The Dutch talented referee stressed that referee’s decisions will differ, but that uniformity is the aim. “With all different characters there’ll be no hundred percent uniformity, but that’s what we strive for.”

These days referees give more cards than in the seventies, but there are many differences between countries. In the infographic below, you can see the ‘yellowest’ country based on data from Worldfootball.net and Futebol365.pt. How darker the tint, the more yellows are handed out. No data available of light blue countries. The chosen colour is green, because differences in yellow tints were unclear.

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Portugal was the country with most straight red cards, as you could read last week, and they also top the list of most yellow cards per match. With 5,22 p/m Portugese players are closely followed by the Spanish with 5,19 p/m.

Referees in Scandinavian countries booked the least players per match: Norway (2,3), Danmark (2,38), Finland (2,92) and Sweden (3,19).

It’s difficult to give an explanation fo that. Are referees in northern countries milder or do players behave better? In next weeks I’m going to take a look at the stats of Scandinavian referees in European competitions. That could give a possible explanation.

Portugese national league ‘reddest’ in Europe

Players in Portugese national league get the most straight red cards per match in Europese national leagues. Each five matches in 2010/2011 season Portoguse referees showed (on average( one straight red card.

Belgium, Spain, Romania and The Netherlands complete the top five of countries with hard players. Or are the referees just mild in countries like Norway (1 straight red in 21 matches), Czech Republic (1 in 15) or Ukrain (1 in 14)?

In the infographic below, you can see the ‘reddest’ country based on data from Worldfootball.net and Futebol365.pt. How darker the tint, the less matches are played on average before a straight red card is handed out. The value ‘0,208333333’ in Portugal means that statistically five (5×0,208333333>1) matches need to be played for the first red card. No data available of light blue countries.

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These stats does only show an average. Portugal is not the country with most straight red cards. That ‘honour’ is for players in Spanish competition with a total of 59; 56 in Italy and 50 in Portugal.

With the start of the Dutch competition Dutch referee boss Dick van Egmond announced that referees should pull the red card faster out of their pockets in case of hard offences. The result: four straight red cards in nine matches.