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England's World Cup Finals

Discipline

 
 
Discipline at World Cup Final Tournaments 1950 - 2010 by Tournament
 
1950
none

1954

none

1958
none
1962
none
1966
Nobby Stiles
foul France
Jack Charlton
foul Argentina
Bobby Charlton
dissent Argentina
Martin Peters
foul West Germany

1970

Francis Lee

foul Brazil

foul West Germany
1982
Terry Butcher
foul France
Paul Mariner
unsportsmanlike conduct Kuwait
Ray Wilkins
foul Spain
1986
Terry Fenwick, Terry Butcher
both foul Portugal
Ray Wilkins
foul, unsportsmanlike conduct Morocco
Mark Hateley
foul Morocco
Terry Fenwick
foul Poland - Suspended
Alvin Martin
unsportsmanlike conduct Paraguay
Terry Fenwick
foul Argentina
1990
Steve McMahon
foul Republic of Ireland
Peter Beardsley
foul Egypt
Paul Gascoigne
foul Belgium
Stuart Pearce
foul Cameroon
Paul Parker, Paul Gascoigne
both foul West Germany
Gascoigne Suspended

1998

Sol Campbell

foul Tunisia

Alan Shearer

taking a free-kick too quickly Colombia

Paul Scholes

encroachment Colombia

David Seaman

foul Argentina

Paul Ince

dissent Argentina

David Beckham

violent conduct Argentina

2002

Sol Campbell

foul Sweden

Ashley Cole

foul Argentina

Emile Heskey

time-wasting Argentina

Danny Mills

foul Denmark

Paul Scholes

foul Brazil

Rio Ferdinand

dissent Brazil

2006

Steven Gerrard

foul Paraguay

Peter Crouch

dissent Paraguay

Frank Lampard

foul Trinidad & Tobago

Owen Hargreaves

handball Sweden

John Terry

unsporting behaviour Ecuador

Paul Robinson,
Jamie Carragher

both time-wasting Ecuador

John Terry

foul Portugal

Owen Hargreaves

dissent Portugal

Wayne Rooney

violent conduct Portugal

2010
Jamie Milner, Jamie Carragher
unsporting behaviour USA

Steven Gerrard

dissent USA
 Jamie Carragher
unsporting behaviour Algeria Suspended
 Glen Johnson
ungentlemanly conduct Slovenia
 Glen Johnson
ungentlemanly conduct Germany Suspended

2014

 

 

2018
 
 
 
2022
 
 
 

Notes

The records do not show any England player receiving a booking in World Cup finals play before the 1966 tournament.  In the nine final tournaments England reached between 1966 and 2010, 36 players were subjected to disciplinary measures.  Six of these were disciplined at two tournaments, Terry Butcher and Ray Wilkins at the 1982 and 1986 tournaments, Sol Campbell and Paul Scholes at the 1998 and 2002 tournaments and Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at the 2006 and 2010 tournaments.

Three players received a red card expulsion, Ray Wilkins for a second cautionable offence in the group match against Morocco at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, David Beckham for violent conduct in the round of 16 teams match against Argentina at the 1998 tournament in France and Wayne Rooney for violent conduct in the quarter-finals match against Portugal at the 2006 tournament in Germany.

Disciplinary records in World Cup finals play before the 1970 tournament in Mexico may not be entirely reliable.  Not until the 1970 tournament was the highly visible method of denoting cautions and expulsions by displaying yellow and red cards established.  Before then, expulsions were discernible because a player left the pitch, but cautions were merely noted in the referee's notebook and were not always publicly known.  

It was uncertainty about the bookings given the Charlton brothers, Bobby and Jackie, in the quarterfinal match against Argentina at Wembley Stadium in 1966 that led the late English referee Ken Aston to develop the red and yellow cards system.  Jackie had been involved in a pushing and shoving affair with Argentine players and brother Bobby sought to intervene, apparently as a peacemaker.  Contemporaneous newspaper accounts reported that both had been booked, but the West German referee had not given any public indication that this was the case.  Manager Alf Ramsey had to ask FIFA for clarification, and FIFA confirmed the bookings.  The confusion set Aston to thinking about the problem, and while noticing a traffic light changing colours, he came up with the idea of displaying yellow and red cards to make cautions as well as expulsions plain to all.

To this day, the official match summary appearing on the FIFA website contains no mention that the Charlton's were booked, although it does list the caution and expulsion of Argentine captain Antonio Rattin.  When England met Argentina at the 1998 final tournament, FIFA revealed that an examination of its records, conducted the year previously at Bobby Charlton's request, showed that both Charlton's had been cautioned in the 1966 match, Jackie apparently for his involvement in the goalmouth pushing and Bobby for dissent.  The caution was the only one Bobby Charlton received in his 106-match England career.  The entire episode serves as a warning that records of player discipline prior to the advent of yellow and red cards may not be complete.

Four England players have served suspensions from World Cup finals play.  The first was midfielder Ray Wilkins, who drew a two-match suspension after he was shown the red card for a second cautionable offence in England's goalless draw with Morocco at the 1986 tournament in Mexico.  Wilkins, who had already drawn a caution for a tussle with a Moroccan player, had taken over the captain's armband when injury forced Bryan Robson to leave the match.  Minutes later, when he was ruled offside, he tossed the ball at the ground in disgust at the failure to call a foul and it hit the referee on the bounce.  FIFA increased the usual one-match suspension for a red card to two matches because it deemed the offence which led to Wilkins' second caution to involve abuse of the referee.  Wilkins missed the next two matches against Poland and Paraguay through suspension, and manager Bobby Robson did not call on him for England's last match of the tournament against Argentina, although he was one of the five substitutes on the bench.  Wilkins, elevated to England captain one moment, thus ended his World Cup career in disgrace the next, the first England player ever sent off in World Cup finals play and only the fourth sent off in any match.

In the same tournament, central defender Terry Fenwick drew cautions for fouls in England's first and third matches in group play, against Portugal and Poland, and was suspended for the next match against Paraguay in the round of 16 teams.  Fenwick returned against Argentina and drew yet another yellow card for a foul.  That that was England's last match of the tournament probably saved Fenwick from further distinguishing himself.

Paul Gascoigne earned a one-match suspension in the 1990 tournament in Italy after drawing cautions against Belgium in the round of 16 teams and against West Germany in the semi-final.  After the second yellow card, Gascoigne, in an unforgettably poignant scene televised around the world, shed tears as it dawned on him he would not play in the final match were England to win the semi-final.  As it turned out, the suspension forced him to miss the third-place match against host Italy instead.

Jamie Carragher served a one-match suspension after picking up a caution each in the opening 2010 Finals tournament in South Africa against USA and Algeria.

Three England players were saved from serving suspensions from World Cup finals play because the offences warranting the suspension came in England's last match of the tournament.  Francis Lee drew a caution against Brazil in group play and a second against West Germany in the quarterfinals at the 1970 tournament in Mexico and would have been suspended from the semi-final, but West Germany's 3-2 extra-time victory sent England home.  David Beckham's red card early in the second half against Argentina at the 1998 tournament in France would have earned him a suspension from the quarterfinal, but Argentina eliminated England on penalty kicks after an extra-time 2-2 draw.

Wayne Rooney's red card against Portugal would have suspended him from any potential semi-final England may have had in 2006.

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