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The Record For The Fastest Red Card Ever In Soccer

The record for the fastest red card ever in soccer is somewhat dubious: is it limited to professionals? What about amateur leagues? Does the player actually have to play a second before being sent off? These are the kinds of ridiculous variables you must factor into determining the fastest red card ever in soccer.

According to the Guardian, there have been a number of instances when substitutes have been sent off without having ever played a second in the match.

In 2007, Sheffield United’s Keith Gillespie was sent off after zero seconds while coming on against Reading in a Premier League match. Before the thrown-in could take place to restart proceedings, Gillespie had elbowed Stephen Hunt in the face, right in front of the referee. He was duly sent off.

(Red card at 3:14)

Swansea City’s Walter Boyd also accomplished this unbeatable record against Darlington in 2000.

If you’re looking for players who actually participated in the match before being sent off, David Pratt, a non-league footballer in England, was sent off after three seconds for a reckless challenge on an opponent.

“The world record is not a big deal for me, it’s not something that I’m proud of,” said Pratt

In another amateur Sunday league game in England, striker Lee Todd was sent off only two seconds into a match back in 2000. The referee blew his whistle for kickoff, and Todd commented: “F*** me, that was loud.” The referee proceeded to show him a straight red for foul language.

“Anyone else would have [said] the same - he nearly blew my ear off,” said Todd.

At the professional level, Bologna’s Giuseppe Lorenzo is believed to hold the record. He was sent off after 10 seconds for striking a Parma player in 1990.

At the pinnacle of the game - the World Cup level - Uruguay’s Jose Batista holds the sensational mark of being red carded after just 56 seconds during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. That’s alright, the World Cup only comes around once every four years!

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