Warning (football)

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The Austrian Bundesliga referee Robert Schörgenhofer shows yellow after a foul
Referee Dietmar Drabek cautioned a player with the yellow card

A warning is a disciplinary measure in football . Any disciplinary measure may only be pronounced during a break in the game and only by the football referee.

There are several variations of the warning:

  1. The yellow card does not have any direct consequences for the player, but the person who has been warned must act more cautiously in order to avoid a second warning, which would lead to exclusion ( yellow-red card ). In addition, in most competitions players are banned from playing a game if they have received a certain number of yellow cards ( yellow card bans ).
  2. The blue card in the hall or in some countries also in the offspring causes a timeout. Again, the second warning in the same game means exclusion.

On November 20, 1982, the DFB had decided for the first time a field reference to time (10 minutes) with the start of the Bundesliga season 1983/84 , but later discarded it.

A warning can only be issued against a player, a substitute or a player who has been substituted if he B.

  1. behaves in an unsportsmanlike manner (e.g. fouls if the foul is severe enough or a tactical foul and a dismissal must not be issued immediately),
  2. indicates his rejection through words or actions,
  3. repeatedly violates the rules of the game (how many repetitions are necessary is at the discretion of the referee),
  4. Delays the resumption of play (this also includes shooting away the ball after the game has been interrupted),
  5. does not keep the prescribed distance for a corner kick or free kick ,
  6. leaves or re-enters the field of play without the referee's approval ,
  7. celebrating an exaggerated goal (e.g. taking off your shirt, climbing the fence).

Each referee has to judge a possible violation of the rules worthy of a warning, especially the unsportsmanlike nature . It is therefore not possible to define exactly what is worthy of caution and what is not.

The rule for the exaggerated goal celebration, first installed in 1984 and changed several times in recent years, is very controversial.


Most of the warnings during a World Cup were given at the 2002 World Cup in the match between Germany and Cameroon and during the 2006 World Cup in the match between Portugal and the Netherlands . In the first case, the Spanish referee Antonio López Nieto dealt 14 yellow and two yellow-red cards , in the second case the Russian referee Valentin Ivanov dealt twelve yellow and four yellow-red cards.