OVER the years, football fans have been left baffled by the weirdest red cards.
Here are 12 bizarre reds handed out by over-eager and offended referees.
EDEN HAZARD, 2013
In a League Cup semi-final second leg, the Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard was in a rush to grab the ball that had gone out of play, with Chelsea trailing to Swansea by two goals and with 80 minutes on the clock.
However, it was grabbed by an enthusiastic ball-boy first, who jumped on top of it after they wrestled.
Fuming Hazard took the law into his hands and kicked the boy in the stomach to release the ball. He would later say that he tried to kick it out of the boy’s grasp.
Either way, the ref wasn’t amused and the Real Madrid star was sent down the tunnel.
DION CHARLES, 2023
Most recently, Dion Charles saw red when he was an innocent bystander.
The Bolton Wanderers’ Northern Ireland striker was sent off in the League One clash against Forest Green Rovers.
His Bolton team-mate Elias Kachunga was in fact the guilty party.
He was seen punching Forest Green defender Brandon Cooper in the gut.
Instead of making a beeline for Kachunga, who the video proved was the offender, the referee Tom Nield instead made his way over to Charles.
The prolific striker was having a drink of water on the sideline when the official showed him a red card, prompting major confusion.
JEAN FERNANDES, 2021
Goalkeeper Jean Fernandes was given his marching orders in Paraguay’s Super Cup final for making an obscene cut-throat gesture towards rival fans.
The Cerro Porteno shot-stopper had only just reached the goalmouth to prepare himself for the start of the game against Olimpia in Paraguay’s Super Cup final when he was filmed turning to the crowd and making the quick hand movement.
And the madness didn’t stop in Croatia, where Dinamo Zagreb star Bruno Petkovic was given a second yellow for taking a penalty the wrong way and stuttering his run-up.
JAMIE CARRAGHER, 2002
Liverpool faced off against Arsenal in an ill-tempered FA Cup tie that first saw Martin Keown sent off.
But the crown went potty when he was joined by Dennis Bergkamp who had committed an ugly two-footed lunge
Coins were thrown onto the pitch, with one hitting Jamie Carragher on the head.
The Reds defender threw the coin back into the crowd and was sent off by Mike Riley.
He apologised, and escaped a FA fine, but was cautioned by police.
ROBIN VAN PERSIE, 2011
With nearly 100,000 fans in the stands, hearing the ref’s whistle can be tough.
And that’s precisely what happened to ex-Gunner Robin Van Persie when he was dismissed against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Arsenal were level at 1-1 when the Dutchman miscued a shot as he was flagged offside.
Inexplicably, even though there was one second between Van Persie’s contact with the ball and the ref’s whistle, he was given a second yellow for kicking the ball away.
Now Feyernoord coach Van Persie could be seen pointing to his ears, explaining he didn’t hear. Later, he labelled the decision a “joke”.
The PSG forward isn’t averse to celebrating his goals with some swagger.
However, this time he took it a bit too far, in the eyes of a ref when he played for Santos as a teenager in a Copa Libertadores tie against Chileans Colo Colo.
After scoring from a superb solo run, he grabbed a mask of his own face from a fan in the stands and proceeded to wear it.
He was given a second yellow for an infringement of the rules by an unimpressed official.
EDIN DZEKO, 2016
The former Manchester City ace’s strange misdemeanour happened on international duty for Bosnia in a World Cup qualifier against Greece.
Dzeko was brought down by former Arsenal defender Sokratis and was annoyed when the Greek legend grabbed the ball off him.
So, rather brilliantly, he decided to pull the centre back’s shorts down which caused a melee among the players.
After it had calmed down, Dzeko was told to get off by an incensed ref.
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JAVIER MASCHERANO, 2013
The Argentinian hardman had a few red cards in his career that were certainly more clear cut. But this one was a little different.
Mascherano was playing for his country against Ecuador, with the Argies chasing a win with the score tied.
He went down injured and had to go off the pitch for treatment, so he was placed on a cart by medics.
Someone apparently tried to throw water at the former West Ham man, who decided to kick out at the medic – striking him on his shoulder.
Later, Mascherano would say he was just trying to let the medic know that he was driving to fast and felt like he was going to fall off the cart.
EDINSON CAVANI, 2014
Cavani was caught in the crossfire of a strange ref’s decision when he played for PSG in a match against Lens.
It all unfolded after the Uruguayan scored a penalty and did his trademark sniper-rifle celebration.
That didn’t go down well with the official, who booked him. Then, when Cavani remonstrated with him, he was given a second yellow for arguing.
PSG’s president Nasser Al Khelaifi couldn’t believe it and asked after the game if the celebration was so bad how come Cavani never got into trouble before.
KIERAN GIBBS, 2014
It was a case of mistaken identity for Gibbs in a game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, who literally did NOTHING wrong.
An Eden Hazard shot was tipped around the post by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the Blues were awarded a penalty.
But ref Andre Marriner sent off his team mate Kieran Gibbs instead, much to the bemusement of the Gunners’ stars and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who immediately fessed up to his deliberate handball.
Marriner was forced into making a grovelling apology, while Gibbs’ red card was rescinded.
ADAM LINDIN LJUNGKVIST, 2016
Flatulence got the better of Ljungkvist as he turned out for Pershagen SK, a bottom-tier club in Sweden, against their local rivals Jarna SK.
In fact, the referee was so appalled that he farted on the pitch he gave him two yellow cards.
Ljungkvist blamed a bad stomach, while the ref said his sent him off for “deliberate provocation and unsportsmanlike behaviour”.
Opposition player Kristoffer Linde confirmed after the game he heard Ljungkvist’s fart from quite a distance away.
DAVID ABRAHAM, 2019
Not only was former Eintracht Frankfurt Abraham sent off, he was banned for seven weeks for his misbehaviour.
As his team were losing to Freiburg 1-0 with minutes left, he went to retrieve the ball from rival coach Christian Streich – knocking him over like a bowling ball.
Freiburg’s stars were livid and chased Abraham around the pitch.
After the dust had settled, he was shown red for the incident.