This story and some other failures in communication during the game led FIFA and its president at the time, Sir Stanley Rous (a former referee), to study how to communicate universal disciplinary decisions, which could be understood by any player, without the need to resort to languages or gestures. A short time later, his friend and member of the FIFA Referees Committee, former English referee Ken Aston, proposed the use of two cards as a solution, one yellow, which was synonymous with calm and caution, and the other red, which directly implied the expulsion. He stated in his proposal that his inspiration was born when he was driving his car down Kensington High Street, where he had to stop at a traffic light after the lights changed.
Four years later, at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the use of cards was adopted for the first time and Aston was appointed President of the FIFA Referees Committee. A few days before the start of the World Cup, the 30 referees who would participate in the event met at the State University of Mexico City, along with the heads of participating delegations, technical directors and players. The president of FIFA, Sir Stanley Rous, together with his members of the Referees Committee, reported that due to the events that occurred in the previous World Cup during the match between Argentina and England, they had decided to create and put into practice the use of disciplinary cards to avoid doubts or solve all kinds of language problems. The protocol became zero conversation and gestures. When a referee considers that an act causing a reprimand has been committed, he will penalize it with a yellow card, while he will show a red card in cases of expulsion. In both cases, the players should comply immediately, without any kind of reaction.
The first referee to use the card was the German Kurt Tschenscher in the opening match of Mexico 1970, played at the Azteca stadium, between the local team and Belgium, where there were 107,000 spectators. The receiver of that first historical card was the Mexican captain, Gustavo Pena, after 30 minutes of play. No one was sent off in that World Cup, and not precisely because of the reticence of the referees, but because of the good behaviour of the players.
Experience shows that the new tool available to the referees around the world was very helpful for a good control of the game. And the history books say that the architect of their invention, although unintentionally, was an Argentine: Antonio Rattin. The books also say that another Argentine was also a reason for using the red cards in a World Cup final: Pedro Monzon, during Italia 90, after a hard tackle on Jürgen Klinsmann.
Expulsion of Rattin in 1966 lasted 10 minutes and led to creation of cards