Is it possible for a football player to be given a direct red card (after a previous yellow card in the same game) for a sending-off offense? Has it ever happened in any match?


3 Answers 3


The situation you've described happens quite frequently actually and you will see the examples at the end.

As you can read from the IFAB (International Football Association Board) Laws of the Game; Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct; 3. Disciplinary Action; Sending-off Offences Section:

A player, substitute or substituted player who commits any of the following offences is sent off:

  • denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (except a goalkeeper within their penalty area)
  • denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent whose overall movement is towards the offender’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick (unless as outlined below)
  • serious foul play
  • spitting at an opponent or any other person
  • violent conduct
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
  • receiving a second caution in the same match

So, receiving a second caution in the same match is one of the 7 main reasons to be sent off but not the only reason. There's no mention in the Laws of the Game, that a player can't be shown direct red card after being already cautioned by a yellow card.

This situation is also implied in the FIFA Disciplinary Code; Article 17. Caution:

  1. If a player is guilty of serious unsporting behaviour as defined in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game and is sent off (direct red card), any other caution he has previously received in the same match is upheld.

Which implies that if someone got direct red card, he or she could've also been cautioned with a yellow card before.



Yes. If the offence is such that requires an immediate red card (like being the last player and fouling the attacker on the clear goalscoring chance)

  • 2
    Welcome to SE.Sport. It is better to add any official source
    – Ale
    Aug 16, 2017 at 9:35

I am an ex referee. YES it is fully possible to give a direct red card. The punishment is more severe for a direct red in match suspensions (3) than it would have been for two yellow cards amount to a red (1 match).

Take the recent Ronaldo sending off.

He took 2 yellow cards, 1 for taking off his shirt, one for simulation (though that is debatable). He received 2 yellow cards and this gave him his red. He took a one match ban. However after the incident he received a further ban for pushing the referee for the poor decision. This increased his ban even though he wasn't even a participant in the game any more.

  • 1
    You have made assertions about the regulatory effects of a red card without providing any evidence or context for it. The remaining information is incomplete compared with previous answers, so I believe your response is not adding anything useful, and may result in confusion or wrong knowledge in readers less familiar with the laws.
    – Nij
    Aug 16, 2017 at 19:33
  • The information in the first paragraph is correct, but as @Nij pointed out, it really needs a reference. Aug 17, 2017 at 2:31
  • "The punishment is more severe for a direct red in match suspensions (3) than it would have been for two yellow cards amount to a red (1 match)." is stated like a universal, or even part of LOTG. It is neither, since at the very least, EPL gives one match for both second caution and DOGSO dismissals, but gives two for OFFINABUSDISS, three for VC or SFP, and six for spitting. @studro
    – Nij
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:14
  • Sorry, I didn't pay close attention to the numbers. The general concept is correct - DOGSO is the only exception, since it's not seen a serious offence. All the other sending-off offences generally carry more than a one-match suspension. Aug 17, 2017 at 8:14
  • I can't help but feel that any confusion would have been avoided had the original answerer simply included a range of punishment table from a league's disciplinary handbook to illustrate the point. Aug 17, 2017 at 8:23

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