Why did Verratti get a card for this back pass?

During the match between PSG and Nantes, Marco Verratti was cautioned (received a yellow card) for this pass to the goalkeeper, which was headed back rather than kicked.

1 Answer

The offence committed by Marco Verratti is mentioned under Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct, Section 3: Disciplinary Action.

Cautions for unsporting behaviour

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for
unsporting behaviour including if a player:

  • uses a deliberate trick to pass the ball (including from a free kick) to the goalkeeper with the head, chest, knee etc. to circumvent the Law, whether or not the goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands.

Going down under no pressure to head the ball to the keeper certainly fits the act that this rule aims to punish and although the referee has drawn flak for brandishing the yellow card, he has followed the rule and taken appropriate action for Verratti’s offence.

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