Red and yellow cards have changed the game since first being used at the 1970 FIFA World Cup.  British football referee Ken Aston developed the easy to understand caution system based on traffic lights but forgot to include the most memorable of three color system, green.

That omission has finally been corrected when Serie B included a green card for use in the game.  Unlike yellow and red cards the green card is designed to reward rather than punish. The cards are shown (really handed out) to signal fair play by a player whether it is playing the ball to touch when another player is injured, assisting referee with a call, etc.

Unlike the red and yellow cards, however, the green card will not be handed out during the match.  Moments of fair play will be reviewed and green cards handed out at the end each month.

The first match to use the green card system was in the 0-0 draw between Bari and Spezia officiated by Aleandro Di Paolo at the Stadio Alberto Picco.  This was the first Serie B match after the winter break.  The green card will be used for the remainder of the season.

Miroslav Klose would no doubt have been shown green for admitting he used his hand not his head to knock home this goal in Serie A.

And Paolo Di Canio would have seen green for what is arguably the all-time fair play when he caught the ball after seeing the goalkeeper go down.

Get Referee Gear (including red and yellow cards, sorry no green cards…yet) at World Soccer Shop.

What do you think of the green card?  Will this help fair play in the game?