I have heard that the suspension rule in Spanish league is different from rest of the places and tournaments. In all the leagues and tournaments I have watched it is 2 yellow cards or 1 red card for suspension. Is it different in Spain? If yes Why? does FIFA agree to it? Is there any other place where there is a difference in rule?


1 Answer 1


All UEFA members, including the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), follow the same on field regulations, codified in FIFA's Laws of the Game. The regulations for yellow and red cards can be found under "LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT":

Disciplinary sanctions

The yellow card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been cautioned.

The red card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been sent off.

Only a player, substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow card.

The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle.

A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence, either on or off the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the referee, an assistant referee or any other person, is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed

and later on from the same Law:

Sending-off offences

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

[ ... ]

receiving a second caution in the same match

The number of consecutive yellow cards that translates into a red card (two) is therefore part of the Rules of the Game, and thus it may not vary per FIFA member.

What may differ per association, is the duration and regulation of off field suspensions that result from yellow and / or red cards. For domestic leagues suspensions are decided by the association and for national tournaments by UEFA, and they are subject to change per tournament. For example, the regulations for yellow and red cards for UEFA European Football Championship (2010-12) are:

Article 21

Yellow and red cards

21.01 As a rule, a player who is sent off the field of play is suspended for the next match in the competition. The Control and Disciplinary Body is entitled to augment this sanction.

21.02 A player is automatically suspended for the next competition match after two cautions in two different matches as well as after the fourth and any subsequent caution.

21.03 Cautions and pending yellow-card suspensions expire on completion of the qualifying competition. They are not carried forward to the final tournament

Final tournament

21.04 Single cautions from matches in the final tournament expire on completion of the quarter-finals, and are not carried forward to the semi-finals. 21.05 Cautions and pending yellow-card suspensions from the final tournament expire at the end of the competition.

If you can read Spanish, the most recent RFEF publications regarding disciplinary matters are the 2011 Código Disciplinario and the 2009/10 Resoluciones disciplinarias del fútbol español.

To summarize: Two yellow cards result in an automatic red card in Spain, as everywhere. How long the player is suspended after being sent off is regulated by the association and the league authorities, and it may even differ between leagues of the same association.

  • How many yellow cards results in a match suspension? Mar 22, 2012 at 9:43
  • @Rohit That's also per association. It's usually four yellow cards => one match suspension (without the player receiving a red card in between). In most associations the suspension is served in the next match, but there are several bylaws depending whether the yellow cards were received on league or cup matches. In some associations yellow cards on league matches lead to suspensions in the next league match, in others in the next match, regardless if it's league or cup (and similarly for cards received on cup matches). In most associations suspensions are doubled if player is the captain.
    – user313
    Mar 22, 2012 at 9:52
  • Can you add that part to the answer laso? and the specific rule in SPL? Mar 22, 2012 at 10:00
  • @Rohit Don't have any references for that (well I do, but they are in Greek, so..).
    – user313
    Mar 22, 2012 at 10:02
  • Use google transalator!! Mar 22, 2012 at 11:49

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