referee show WHITE CARD to Sporting Lisbon and Benfica medics after Portugal introduces new rule

FAIR PLAY SPORTING LISBON and Benfica were shown a white card by the referee after Portugal introduced a new rule.

Football fans are used to see yellow and red cards dished out with regularity to punish players who overstep the line.

But they won’t be accustomed to officials using a white card – which has the complete opposite effect.

Supporters in Portugal got a glimpse of the new card as Sporting Lisbon and Benfica’s women met in a cup match.

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With Benfica leading 3-0, someone on the bench in the dugouts reportedly felt ill at the end of the first-half.

Medical staff from both sides rushed to the person’s aid.

After the issue was dealt with, the referee can be seen brandishing the white card.

Fans responded with big cheers at the appearance of the rare colour.

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White cards are part of a new initiative in Portugal.

Unlike the yellow and red cards which are meant to punish teams, the white card instead is shown to recognise and praise clubs for fair play.

The new idea was started to encourage ethical values in sport.

Benfica would go on to win 5-0 in the cup quarter-final.

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While not yet widespread, the white card is just the latest new rule change that has come to football.

Concussion substitutions and longer stoppage time – as seen in the Qatar World Cup – are some of the other ideas that could become the norm to try and shake up the game for safety and entertainment purposes.

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