What are circular red cards in football? Why did Wrexham vs Sheffield United ref use round card in FA Cup tie

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Referee Dean Whitestone produced a circular red card for Sheffield United forward Daniel Jebbison

A circular red card was brandished by referee Dean Whitestone during a 3-3 draw between Wrexham and Sheffield United in the FA Cup.

Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds experienced all the emotions of a Hollywood drama. His side fought back from behind to take a 3-2 lead in the last ten minutes of the game, but were later denied a fairytale victory after a last gasp equaliser from Sheffield United defender John Egan.

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One of the main talking points from the frenetic game of football proved to be the controversial dismissal of Sheffield United forward Daniel Jebbison. The teenage striker was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Wrexham defender Ben Tozer, which fans couldn’t quite make out due to the absence of VAR.

However, it wasn’t just the colour of the card which was surprising and many viewers noticed that the referee used a circular shaped red card instead of a rectangular version. But how did fans react to the circular red card and has it been used in football before?

Here is everything you need to know.

How did fans react to the circular red card?

Many fans watching the game disagreed with the referee’s decision to produce a red card for Daniel Jebbison. A number of viewers also expressed their confusion at the shape of the card.

One user posted on Twitter: “Not a red card, and even worse the red card was a circle.”

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Another said: “People are confused about Jebbison’s red card but what I’m more concerned about is that the ‘card’ is a circle.”

A third fan also noticed that the yellow and red cards were different shapes. He said: “ Wait, so the red card is a circle, but the yellow card is rectangular??? Now I’m really intrigued.”

What are circular red cards in football?

Circular cards are something which some football fans may remember and they were briefly used in the Premier League during the early 2000s.

Circular cards are used to assist colour blind fans and benefit the referee himself.

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A referee football forum explains: “The circular and oval cards were originally introduced to ‘assist’ players who couldn’t differentiate between the colours. It was also to help the referee who wanted to pull out the quick card, the shape telling him which card he was pulling out.”

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