By Chris Wright
Eight yellow cards in and thoroughly aggrieved at the level of venom on display while overseeing a mid-season ‘friendly’ between Argentinian rivals Estudiantes and Gimnasia, referee Carlos Maglio decided it was high time to make a stand in the 79th minute of the match to make it very obvious to both sides that he’s reached the end of his tether.
Calling both captains over, referee Maglio politely informed them that he’d only be showing straight red cards from then on until the end of the game, going so far as to hand over his yellow card to the fourth official.
Speaking after the game, Maglio explained his call to ‘retire’ his yellow card to La Red radio:
“Retiring the yellow was a spur of the moment decision. I had already booked eight players and I didn’t want them to keep on hitting each other.
“The fourth official asked me to give (the yellow) to him so that everyone should see (the decision), that way it was clear to everyone that the yellow was no longer in play.”
However, the ploy didn’t exactly prove 100% effective, as Maglio was still forced to send Estudiantes midfielder Israel Damonte off for violent play in the 84th minute – though the official admitted that he’d have still issued Damonte with his marching orders even if he’d still had his yellow in his pocket.
“Even if I’d had the yellow card he would still have gone off,” he continued. “It was a red offence.”
South American friendlies, eh? The gift that keeps on giving.