Why Emiliano Martinez was not sent off despite second yellow card

Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa reacts after being shown a yellow card by Referee Ivan Kruzliak during the UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 Quarter-final second leg match between Lille OSC and Aston Villa at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on April 18, 2024 in Lille, France
Martinez was booked during the penalty shootout - Getty Images/Alex Pantling

Aston Villa booked their place in the Europa League semi-finals in dramatic fashion by winning a drama-filled penalty shootout, where goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez received his second yellow card but was not sent off.

Martinez had been walking a tightrope from the 28th minute when he received his first booking for time-wasting, with Villa already 1-0 down on the night and pegged back to 2-2 on aggregate following Lille midfielder Yusuf Yazici’s marvellous opener.

Lille captain Benjamin Andre then doubled the home side’s lead to put them in front in the tie, but Villa left-back Matty Cash levelled the scores in the dying minutes to send the match to extra-time and penalties.

Martinez wasted no time in launching the mind games, picking the ball up from the spot after Nabil Bentaleb, the former Tottenham midfielder, had placed it. It earned himself a stern telling off from Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak.

Martinez was then given a second telling off when he celebrated saving Bentaleb’s penalty by putting his finger to his lips in an effort to silence the home fans, who had booed him throughout, but Kruzliak’s patience ran out when Martinez was seen gesturing on the edge of the area. The referee ran over to the Argentine and showed him a yellow card for the second time in the match, but did not produce a red card.

Villa understand the two bookings will force Martinez to miss the semi-final first leg through suspension.

Villa captain Douglas Luiz sprinted from the halfway line to confront Kruzliak, equally as unaware of the rules as the rest of the stadium. But unbeknownst to him, Martinez had not been sent off because bookings from regular time or extra-time are not carried over into a shootout.

Law 10 of the International Football Association Board’s laws of the game states: “Warnings and cautions issued during the match (including during extra-time) are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM). A player who receives a yellow card during both the match and the KFPM is not sent off. The two separate cautions are reported to the appropriate authorities.”

As it was, Martinez remained on the pitch to prove himself the hero yet again as he saved for the second time to deny Ande and send Villa through to the last four of the Europa Conference League and leave them as the last English club left standing in Europe this season.

Martinez: ‘It was my destiny to win here’

Martinez insisted it was his “destiny” to extend Aston Villa’s European adventure after emerging the hero in the penalty shoot-out despite being booked twice.

The Argentine ran the gauntlet of hate all evening in Lille after first infuriating French football fans following his country’s World Cup win in Qatar 17 months ago.

“I always say in my career, I owe my team-mates in those moments,” he said. “Even when we were watching Real Madrid last night the manager was saying we might go to penalties and in those moments I own my box.

“It’s been hell of a ride all my career. I’m always a believer and I’m a hard worker and it was my destiny to win here again.

“This group of players and the managers are special, the owners get involved as well, they are always behind us.

“It feels like we are going to do something special, I don’t know if it’s the Champions League or I don’t know if it’s Conference League but we try to do everything we can to push the football club.”

Martinez admitted he was confused with the rules after his two bookings from Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak.

After saving the first Lille penalty from Bentaleb, he hushed his lips at the home supporters and was then booked shortly afterwards for complaining that the ball was not on the penalty spot.

“It’s all about my reputation for time-wasting because the other goalie was doing exactly the same thing,” he said.

“I got a yellow after 30 minutes and we were losing the game so I don’t know what the ref wants from me.

“Then there was no ball in the penalty spot and I was asking for a ball from the ball boy and I get booked, I just don’t understand the rules.”