Fürth and the red card/Rote Karte und Fürth

The local paper says that a man born in Fürth invented the red card.

It seems to be partly true. Wikipedia (German) has the referee Rudolf Kreitlein born both in Stuttgart and Fürth, Wikipedia (English) only in Stuttgart. But he was apparently born in Fürth and went to Stuttgart after 1945.

Rudolf Kreitlein was born in Fürth in 1919 and is still alive. Here is a picture of him last year (the one on the right!).

He was the referee of the England-Argentina game in the World Cup 1966 quarter-final.

According to this account (in German) at rp online, Kreitlein ordered the Argentine captain Antonio Rattin to leave the field. There was an uproar, and only after ten minutes did Rattin go, escorted by police. Kreitlein also had to escorted by police after the game.

On the coach back to the hotel, Kreitlein and Ken Aston, or Ken Aston alone, devised the yellow and red card scheme so players were not confused as to what had been ordered. From the Wikipedia entry on Ken Aston:

On the trip, punctuated by many traffic lights, Aston realised that a colour coding scheme on the same amber (steady) – red (stop) principle as used on traffic lights would traverse language barriers and clarify to players and spectators that they had been cautioned or sent off. Thus was devised the system whereby referees show a yellow card for a caution and a red card for an expulsion, which was first used in the 1970 World Cup.

From rp-online:

Auf der Rückfahrt vom Stadion ins Hotel kam Kreitlein und dem englischen Schiedsrichter-Betreuer Ken Aston eine historische Idee: Inspiriert von den zahlreichen roten Verkehrsampeln entwickelten sie “gelbe” und “rote” Karten als weltweit verständliche und eindeutige Symbole. Der Weltverband FIFA nahm den Vorschlag auf und führte die Karten bei der WM 1970 ein. Die erste Rote Karte bei einer WM sah aber erst 1974 der Chilene Caszely im Spiel gegen Deutschland.

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