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Why Ref used a ‘Circle Card’ to send player off in FA Cup Game



Why Ref used a 'Circle Card' to send player off in FA Cup Game

During Friday night’s FA Cup match between Brentford and Wolves, referee Tony Harrington made a rare move that had fans and pundits alike questioning the peculiar sight of a circular-shaped red card.

The incident occurred in the eighth minute of the third-round tie at the Gtech Community Stadium when Harrington swiftly issued a straight red card to Wolves midfielder Joao Gomes for a challenge on Christian Norgaard.

The decision sparked heated debates across social media platforms. Fans questioned the severity of the tackle, its intentionality, and most notably, why the red card was circular instead of the traditional rectangle.

One fan expressed surprise, stating, “Hang on, why’s the red card a circle?” while another asked,

“Wtf was that? Why is the red card a circle? What on earth is happening?”

Others admitted it was their first encounter with such a card, with one commenting,

“Just seeing a round/circle red card for the first time, to be honest.”

A referees’ forum shed light on the matter, explaining that circular and oval-shaped cards were initially introduced to aid players who struggled to differentiate between the colors.

Moreover, they clarified that the unique shape also helped referees swiftly identify the type of card they were pulling out in the heat of the moment.

Brentford 1-1 Wolves: Tommy Doyle thunderbolt earns replay after Joao Gomes' early red card - BBC Sport

Referencing South African rugby referee Andre Watson, a Reddit user recalled an encounter where Watson shared his reason for adopting a different-shaped card.

Watson had once mistakenly shown a red card instead of a yellow and subsequently switched to a circular red to prevent a repetition of the error.

Fans with a history in the sport reminisced about past instances of circular red cards. They recalled former Premier League official Uriah Rennie frequently using this distinct shape, evoking sentiments of nostalgia.

One fan fondly mentioned,

“Feel like I haven’t seen a circle red card in years. A classic of the game.”

This occurrence wasn’t the first time a circular red card made an appearance in recent FA Cup matches.

Last season, referee Dean Whitestone also produced the rare card during Wrexham’s FA Cup encounter against Sheffield United, adding to the mystique surrounding these unconventional red cards.