World football's governing body, FIFA, have announced they have acted upon advice given to them by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with regard to the current yellow card/red card system used by referees, and have decided to introduce a new-coloured card - orange.
Wenger's reaction after his team's match against Bolton at the weekend, which saw Trotter's defender Gary Cahill receive a straight red card for an innocuous challenge, was that the offence was not a straight red card, but, rather, an 'orange' or, at worst, a 'pale red' offence. Possibly verging on 'pink'.
Wenger said that tackles are sometimes 'overenthusiastic' rather than 'vicious', and, as such, deserve an amount of leniency. Instead of banishing players from the pitch for a first offence, referees should award an orange card to alert the player to the fact that the challenge was slightly more serious than a trip, or pulling off the shirt after scoring a goal, but less so than scything a striker down as he prepares to release the trigger in the penalty box. In these situations, he said, referees had to be sensible, because sending a player off early in the game for an ever-so-slightly mistimed tackle could, more often than not, ruin the entire match by reducing the '10 men' to a 'siege mentality', whereupon they defend for the remainder of the 90 minutes.
Future developments of this rather intriguing idea may include further colour additions for offences of a greater or lesser degree.
For example, holding one nostril shut, and blowing a huge bubble of snot out the other, whilst not a yellow card offence, could attract a 'lemon' card.
Similarly, calling a black player a 'nigger' - slightly more serious, in my opinion, than a tackle from behind - could be made into a 'salmon' card, or even 'light vermilion'. Abuse of, or remonstrating with the referee should always be frowned upon most categorically, and would become a 'crimson' card, whereupon the player is not only sent from the field of play, but is also made to return home without any clothes on.
Referees would have to carry a selection of the new coloured cards with them in something resembling a colour chart similar to the ones you see when trying to decide upon a brighter look for your kitchen.
Or maybe not.