Carlos Maglio broke new ground in the field of refereeing during a recent exhibition game between two of Argentine soccer’s fiercest rivals.
Players from Estudiantes and Gimnasia had racked up eight yellow cards in the first 79 minutes before Maglio decided he had seen enough brutality.
Maglio called both captains to an on-field meeting, where he told them that he would no longer issue yellow cards, and that it would be all red from there. Maglio even took the extraordinary step of giving his yellow card to the fourth official.
Israel Damonte tested Maglio’s resolve just five minutes later with a rough tackle, and Maglio duly dismissed the Estudiantes midfielder.
After the game, Maglio told the ironically named radio station La Red that he resorted to the “red card only” policy to protect the players from themselves, according to Metro.
“Retiring the yellow was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I had already booked eight players, and I didn’t want them to keep hitting each other,” Maglio said. “The fourth official asked me to give [the yellow card] to him — that way it was clear to everyone that the yellow was no longer in play.”
Maglio added that he would have sent Damonte off during normal circumstances, such was the severity of his offense.
“Even if I’d had the yellow cards, he would still have gone off,” Maglio said. “It was a red card offense.”
It’s unlikely that Maglio or the battling players will face further punishment for their actions in the “Clasico de La Plata” because it was an exhibition game.
The often rough-and-tumble Argentine Primera Division (first division) resumes in mid-February. Players, coaches and fans should know that Maglio means business.
See Maglio’s unconventional officiating in the video below.