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The 12 weirdest red cards ever: starring pitch invaders, ref rage… and farting

Esteban Alvarado kicks Ajax fan
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9. Javier Mascherano

Argentina’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador in a South America World Cup qualifying game was best remembered by a bizarre dismissal of Barcelona’s Mascherano.

Quite why the former Liverpool man decided to kick the driver of a mobile stretcher only he knows, but he shouldn’t have been quite so aggrieved after the referee punished him for the petulance.

8. Thirty-six red cards

Some more Argentine madness for you here, this time in a fifth-tier game between rivals Claypole and Victoriano Arenas, where every player was sent off in a brawl that included fans and managers.

Referee Damian Rubino brandished 36 red cards – a world record for the most in a game of football. So that’s something.

7. Esteban Alvarado

What do do when you’re attacked by a fan? Apparently stand there and take it like a sap according to this referee in the Netherlands.

One dozy Ajax supporter got more than he bargained for when he charged at AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, who duly welcomed him with a flying kick that sent him tumbling to the ground. Two more whacks to the legs later and Costa Rican Alvarado was off, with furious AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek ordering his players off. Match abandoned.

The red card was rescinded and fan Wesley van W slapped with a six-month prison sentence, banned from Ajax for life. Turns out it really, really wasn’t worth it.