Serie B ref awards first-ever green card in Vicenza-Cesena match (video)

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Soccer fans have become more than accustomed to seeing yellow and red cards during matches, however, Sunday debuted another variation during a Serie B match.

History was made during Virtus Entella’s 4-1 win over Vicenza on Oct. 1 when Vicenza attacker Cristian Galano was handed out the game’s first-ever green card in a competitive game.

Instead of serving as a form of punishment, which is the purpose of yellow and red cards, the green card was established by Serie B as a reward to players and clubs that exhibit fair play throughout the season.

Galano was shown the green card after admitting to the referee that the ball hadn’t hit any Virtus Entella defenders before going out for a corner kick. The referee reversed the decision and awarded Virtus a goal kick.

With Serie B battling heavy scrutiny recently over the league’s match fixing scandal, president Andrea Abodi says that the concept of the green card is simply a way to promote those doing positive things during matches and cast a better light on the game.

“It’s a symbolic award,” Abodi said. “It could be something very simple. The important thing is to recognise it when a professional does something exemplary.”

“We think that football needs positive messages,” a Serie B spokesman added. “This sport is too often embroiled in controversy that drives people away from the stadiums.”

The player with the most green cards at the end of the Serie B campaign will be given a reward, according to the league.