It was a historical moment for football in Portugal on Saturday, January 21, when a white card was given for the first time in the sport.
The white card was shown during a women’s cup quarter-final match between fierce rivals, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.
The recipients were two medical staff from both clubs who rushed to the aid of a fan who had fainted in the stands as Benfica led 3-0 in the first half.
Referee Catarina Campos then showed the card to both teams in recognition of an act of fair play.
Fans at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon were heard cheering and applauding the decision.
White cards were introduced as part of an initiative of Portugal’s National Plan for Ethics in Sport to encourage fair play and have been adopted by the Portuguese Football Federation.
So far only Portugal has adopted the white card which contrast yellow and red cards in use to discipline players for misconduct.
Besides the white card, the Portuguese football authorities have also adopted concussion substitutions as well as longer stoppage time which works as a deterrent for teams who try to waste time.