CIES Football Observatory

Issue n°182 - 27/03/2017

From Greece to Norway: booking policies throughout Europe

For the first time, issue number 182 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents data on cards issued by referees. The 31 top division European championships surveyed are ranked according to the average number of cards given per game. The Greek Super League heads the table (5.52), while the Norwegian Eliteserien is at the bottom of the rankings (2.93).

Southern and Eastern European countries are over-represented among those where the referees issue the most cards. On the contrary, in the majority of Northern and Western European countries, the number of cards given is relatively low. These gaps reflect the existence of different cultures both from a player and a referee behaviour perspective.

Generally speaking, the number of yellow cards is correlated to that of red cards. The French Ligue 1 is an exception. At international level, French referees issue few yellow cards, but a lot of red ones. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in the English Premier League, the amount of red cards is very low compared to that of yellow cards.



Average cards per match during the current season

Yellow / Red / Total
Not including games played in March
2016 season for summer leagues

Editors : Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel