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Wed. 29 March 2023

Penalty cards per match: world ranking

Issue number 415 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks 76 leagues worldwide according to the number of cards per match handed out by referees since 1 January 2020. Bolivia’s Primera División tops the list (7.01 cards per game with 0.55 reds), while Japan’s J2 and J1 leagues are at the opposite end of the spectrum (1.99 cards per match with just 0.05 reds).

Seven Latin American leagues rank in the top nine in terms of total number of penalty cards, the only exceptions being Portugal’s Primeira and Segunda Liga. At the opposite end, Japan’s top two divisions are ahead of the top two leagues from the Netherlands. England’s Premier League Championship, League One and League Two are also at the bottom of the table, confirming the low propensity of referees across the Channel to issue penalty cards.

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