In football, a yellow card or caution refers to a card shown to the player for committing a cautionable offense. Depending on the violations committed, it is the discretion of the referee whether to give the player a yellow card or red card. The offenses are listed in the Laws of the Game.

How Yellow Card/Caution Works

A yellow card is used to provide caution to the player for making an offense. However, before the player is given a yellow card, the referee will first note down if it was a first or second offense. If the violation performed is for the first time, the player will get off with only a caution from the referee. If the player commits the same offense again, then he will be given a card by the referee.

When are Yellow Cards Used?

When a player performs misconduct, a yellow card is shown to show that he has been officially cautioned. The details of the offenses are then recorded to the referee’s small notebook, known as booking. The player can continue playing despite being cautioned. But, if he receives another caution, the referee will have to send off the player from the match. The Laws of the Game have guidelines on the types of offenses and misconduct that can merit caution.

• Unsporting behavior

An unsporting behavior refers to a foul play committed by the player. Another reason is denying the other payer an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. If the player is seen that he attempted to play the ball, the referee will award the opposing team a penalty kick. The player is then given a yellow card.

• Dissent by word or action

If the player enters into a verbal disagreement with the referee in a disrespectful manner, he will be cautioned. Showing rude action is also an offense.

• Persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game

A player not adhering to the rules specified by the Laws of the Game is therefore cautioned. The laws are there to ensure fair play. Hence, if he continuously violates it, the player receives a yellow card.

The sanctions mentioned are some of the lists of offenses mandated by the Laws of the Game. For serious offenses, including serious foul play or violent conduct, players are cautioned with a red card. Red card violations are also mentioned in Law 12, which is fouls and misconduct.