Yellow and red cards are an important part of the game as they ensure that players stick to the rules of the game and aid the referee in maintaining discipline and decorum.
However, some players do some weird things on the football pitch, leaving the referee with no choice but to give them the marching orders.
Here are five of the strangest red cards issued in football:
5. Dally Innocent Gbale
Trying to rile up opposition fans is part of most goalscorers’ celebrations, but Dally Innocent Gbale took it one step further.
The forward scored a goal for Freamunde in their Portuguese second division clash against Chaves and chose to pull down his shorts and moon the opposition fans. Although it was in response to their racist behaviour, the referee had no choice but to send him off.
4. Edin Dzeko
One of the most bizarre red cards that was ever issued was the one shown to Edin Dzeko when he was on national duty.
When the Bosnians played Greece, the striker took umbrage when the ball was taken away from him at the corner flag and chose to pull down the shorts of Greek defender Sokratis. The referee had no choice but to show him a second yellow, giving him his marching orders.
3. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard may have well been within his moral rights to kick out against the ball boy for his time wasting, but as a professional footballer, the Belgian should have kept his cool.
In Chelsea’s League Cup semi-final against Swansea City in 2013, the Blues were down 2-0 and Hazard was trying to get the ball back from the ball boy, who was not ready to give it to him quickly.
The Belgian ended up kicking the ball boy and needless to say, the referee went straight for the red card and sent him off.
2. Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano was already leaving the field, albeit on the medical cart, during Argentina’s game against Ecuador in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
However, the Argentine decided to kick the medical car driver because he was of the opinion that he was going too fast. The situation ended up turning into a melee, and Mascherano was sent off for triggering the entire chain of events.
Neymar is one of the most popular footballers in the world now and he would have to do something truly bizarre for any referee to have an excuse to send the Brazilian off the pitch.
But before his move to Barcelona, the Santos forward chose to celebrate a goal but putting a mask of his own face upside down. Although there was nothing inherently wrong about it, the referee on the night chose to award him a second yellow and sent him off.