Serie B introduces green cards for referees to reward good behaviour

Good behaviour is to be rewarded in Serie B this season with referees given a new green card to brandish when players conduct themselves well.

In addition to the normal yellow and red cards, referees are to carry a green card to show in an attempt to promote fair play and sporting gestures.

According to La Stampa, the new system -- which is being introduced on a trial basis -- will come in to effect around the fourth or fifth round of matches.

The innovative idea is for players who conduct themselves well, either by playing the ball out for an injury, or helping the referee with his decision making when he committed a foul which was not seen or touched the ball on its way out if the referee wrongly gives a goal kick, to receive a green card.

Although it has not yet been decided what advantages -- if any -- teams will gain from their players receiving green cards, it is hoped the gesture will be enough to make the game more sporting and set an example to those who disregard the rules.

At the end of the season, a classification will determine an overall fair-play winner, with the leading player likely to win a trophy like the top goalscorer award.

The green card has already been experimented at various youth levels.