Based on this post about the maximum number of red cards user Orangecrush pointed out:

Once 5 on-field players (substitutes do not count) of the same team are red carded, the match ends.

Assuming two teams playing with a score of 0-0 have already lost 4 players each and then both had a player red carded simultaneously, this would result in abandonment of the match.

Given that the match is now abandoned, what would the result of the match be recorded as, or would a replay be required in order to decide the winner?

  • 1
    This also applies for injuries if a team has used all substitutions - a combination of send-offs and injuries causing abandonment is probably far more likely rather than having five players sent off. Dec 21, 2017 at 5:04

3 Answers 3


In Germany, most of the governing bodies do cover cases like that.

If a match is abandoned because of both teams' fault (this includes getting spammed with Red Cards) it will count as a loss for both (the result varies between 0-2 and 0-3). So in that case there will be no winner.

Example source in German: Spielordnung Hamburg (§28 - 7)


The Laws of the Game make no mention of what happens when a match is abandoned. The result will be determined by the governing body responsible for the match - note that exactly the same applies if only one team is reduced to fewer than seven players, although in that case the governing body probably has an easier job sorting things out.

  • This is correct, but it might be worth nothing that there may be no determination to be made by organisers if the competition rules specify an automatically applied outcome. Dec 21, 2017 at 5:03

From IFAB laws of the game,

      An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules or organisers determine otherwise.

However, laws of the game does not mention how the result of game should be recorded. So, it is up to the organisers (or, from competition rules) to decide whether or not to replay the match, and if match is not replayed how they want to keep this in record .

[Note: These abandoned matches examples are not because of red card limit]

Result after abandoned match depends on competition, Football League decided abandoned match of Blackpool v Huddersfield Town as draw whereas there are many cases of match being decided as 3-0. Few examples of such are,

  1. Albania were awarded 3-0 win after Serbia match abandoned over drone stunt

  2. Malmo awarded 3-0 win in abandoned Gothenburg match

  3. Siġġiewi FC a 3-0 win after finding St George’s FC guilty of causing the abandonment of the BOV Second Division match

Other such incidents: mirror.co.uk, bleacherreport.com, bbc.com

From football-stadiums.co.uk article,

In Spain, for example, a match that is already partway through isn’t abandoned, it is merely postponed to a later date. This means that if a game is halted after 68 minutes with one team 3-0 up then it will be resumed at a later date with the remaining 22 minutes played out.

  • They only have to decide how to record it if they don't replay it.
    – user207421
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:37

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