Serie B are planning on introducing a ‘green card’ to promote sportsmanship to rising players on the football pitch.
What with diving, foul-mouthed rants and two-footed studs-first challenges, acts of kindness on the pitch are few and far between in modern football – and Italy have designed their own novel method of tackling the problem.
Referees in Italy’s second tier will of course still have on hand yellow and red cards to punish illegal acts, but will also be persuaded to praise the players with a new colour in their pocket.
According to Italian newspaper La Stampa [via Metro], the green card to reward players for clear acts of sportsmanship will be unveiled later this month having been successfully trialed in Italian youth leagues.
Examples of when a green card would be brandished include kicking the ball out of play to allow an injury for the opposition to be seen to and helping the referee with a decision.
It remains to be seen whether such a scheme will have any significant impact on the number of foul incidents in a game.