How Many Games Do You Miss if You Get a Red Card in Soccer?

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By Eric Wilson

A red card in soccer is one of the most dreaded things that can happen to a player during a game. It signifies that the referee has sent off the player for a serious offense, and it often results in the team being reduced to 10 players on the field.

But what happens to the player who receives a red card? How many games do they miss as a result?

What is a Red Card in Soccer?

A red card is shown by the referee when a player commits a serious offense on the field. The offenses that can result in a red card include violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting on an opponent, denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by handling the ball, and using offensive or insulting language and/or gestures.

When a player receives a red card, they are immediately sent off the field and cannot be replaced by another player. This means that their team must play with one less player for the remainder of the match.

How Many Games Does a Player Miss After Receiving a Red Card?

The number of games that a player misses after receiving a red card depends on several factors, including:

– The competition they are playing in
– The severity of their offense
– Their previous disciplinary record

In most professional leagues around the world, including the English Premier League and La Liga in Spain, if a player receives a straight red card (i.e., they are sent off without receiving two yellow cards first), they will be suspended for three matches.

However, if their offense is deemed to be particularly serious or violent by the league’s disciplinary committee, they could receive an extended ban. For example, in 2016, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given a three-match ban for elbowing an opponent during a Premier League match.

In some cases, players may also be given additional bans for dissent or other offenses committed while leaving the field after being sent off.


Receiving a red card in soccer can have serious consequences for both the player and their team. Not only do they miss the remainder of the match, but they could also be suspended for several games afterwards.

The severity of the ban depends on several factors, including the competition being played and the player’s previous disciplinary record. It’s essential for players to maintain their composure on the field and avoid committing offenses that could result in a red card.