Top 5 Discipline (Records) at FIFA World Cup

by on June 27, 2010


In an international event with the prestige of a World Cup, there have had to be quite a few situations requiring the strong arm of the referee to mete out punishment. In eighty years, this tournament has seen some great players commit some serious offenses. 

Still, overall, the disciplinary rate could be a lot higher, especially given the tension generated by the huge audience and the intense level of competition. This said, here are a few of the more interesting disciplinary records from World Cup play:

• Brazil’s Cafu as a world record six cautions.

• Zidane and Rigobert Song share a record. They are the only two men to have been sent off twice while playing in the FIFA World Cup Tournament.

• It only took Jose Batista of Uruguay less than sixty seconds to be sent off in their match against Scotland in 1986. That’s fast.

• Italy’s Mauro Tassotti got the longest suspension (in terms of matches) to be handed out in World Cup history. He was banned for eight matches after elbowing a Spanish player in 1994. Needless to say the punishment shortened his career.

• Perhaps the strangest disciplinary action of note was dealt in the 2006 World Cup. The referee, Graham Poll, issued three yellow cards to Josip Simunic of Croatia during a single match against Australia.

No doubt the players in this year’s tournament will offer up their share of offenses and the referees will be handing out more World Cup disciplinary history as we go along. So far, however, this is the story.

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