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This is how stopping matches after a red is handled in Swiss football

This is how stopping matches after a red is handled in Swiss football


How the NFL defines the penalty for red cards and why there is no end in sight to discussions on the topic.

One man sees red, or more precisely: 5 men. In Round 24 of the Premier League, the only match between Lucerne and FC Zurich did not result in any sending off. A player has been sent off the field 41 times this season in the Swiss top league.

These also included decisions that were worth discussing, such as the red card against Lukas Gurtler at the end of January. The St. Gallen captain was unfortunately hit by Lugano's Jonathan Sabatini on a cross.

Sometimes the level of punishment also raises controversy. Sometimes, a player only has to serve a one-match ban, and another player misses 4 matches in a tournament. But how is this actually determined? Philipp Guggisberg, head of communications at the Swiss Football League (SFL), explains: The referee who gave the red card gave as accurate a description as possible in his report. The day after the Premier League round, the report goes to the disciplinary judge. Based on the description and after viewing the television images, the penalty is imposed.

This in turn follows a detailed list of penalties. In the case of the red card against FCZ defender Nikola Katic in the derby against GC, referee Stefan Horisberger's report goes something like this:

After losing the ball in the midfield, Katic tackles his opponent with an open sole above the ankle, which poses a risk to his health. I stand close to him and show him the red card for this violation.

Based on this report and the television images, the disciplinary judge came to the conclusion that it was a case of “serious error”. According to the sanctions catalogue, this means Katic must watch two matches.

'There is no clear science'

But not all red is the same, and this also applies to assaults. There are three levels of distinction between mild and severe assault. Guggisberg is convinced: “Thanks to our three disciplinary judges, who coordinate with each other, and this tried and tested practice, we have a clear line.” But it should also be noted that “the procedure is not a straightforward science, nor is it just black and white.”

The likelihood of football fans running out of things to discuss about red cards and game bans remains slim.