ROME (Web Desk) – Footballers will soon be persuaded to avoid gamesmanship, diving and general poor behaviour by the introduction of a ‘green card’.
Fans will be only too aware of yellow and red cards, used to warn and dismiss players for rule-breaking and general violations.
But Italian football is now set to give referees the option to not only punish players, but to also praise them by awarding green cards.
According to Italian newspaper La Stampa, the card – which will be unveiled later this month in Serie B after successful trials in Italian youth leagues – will be used to recognise good sportsmanship and other ‘acts of virtue’.
Green cards will therefore be earned for actions such as stopping the game when an opponent is injured and assisting the referee with a decision.
While there will be no immediate reward for earning a green card, a list of the ‘most correct’ players will be compiled at the end of the season.
Gamesmanship is rife in the Italian leagues and officials hope the introduction will encourage fair play and good behaviour on the pitch.
They also believe the concept could soon spread to other professional leagues such as the Premier League.