Referees have shown a total of 79 yellow and four red cards in the first 24 matches of the FIFA World Youth Championship for the Coca-Cola Cup.
Only one of the sendings-off has been a direct red card, that shown to Spain’s Gerard. All the other three red cards came as a result of two yellow cards in the same match, the offenders being Belgium’s De Smet in the match against Uruguay, Costa Rica’s Salas in the 2-6 defeat by Japan, and N’da of Côte d’Ivoire against Mexico.
Gerard is automatically suspended for the match against Costa Rica, De Smet is suspended for Belgium’s third group A match against Malaysia, Salas for the game against Spain, and N’da for the match against the UAE.
Three players have a yellow card in each of their two games so far, and also miss their third group matches. These players are Santacruz (Mexico), Morinigo (Paraguay) and Zovath (Hungary).
The figures compare well with the 1995 World Youth Championship in Qatar, when there were no less than 119 yellow and 23 red cards (including nine direct cards and 14 as a result of a second yellow) in the first 24 games.