OK, to be clear, this isn’t the most bizarre red car I’ve ever seen: I once did a post about a player who was given a red card while lying unconscious on a stretcher and being loaded into the back of an ambulance. But this comes in a strong second.
Argentina and Ecuador were playing their World Cup qualifier in Quito on Tuesday when Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano suffered an injury in the 87th minute, and had to be taken off in a medical cart. But as Mascherano, on a stretcher, was being driven off the field, a fan threw water, splashing Mascherano.
So Mascherano then inexplicably began kicking the cart driver. Perhaps it was the closest Ecuadorian he could find, and he needed to kick someone from that country. Whatever — an ever-vigilant ref ran up and gave Mascherano a red card.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Reflecting on the incident, Mascherano said: “I feel ashamed. You must always be against violence. The truth is I made a mistake. It is not nice that you get sent off in such a way, and generate such a controversy.”
Asked why he reacted as he did, Mascherano said: “The cart was going too quickly, I was moving around and thought I might fall. We told the medic to go slower, he ignored me and I reacted. But, I repeat, it was not justified.”
But this story has yet more great moments. Below please see Ecuadorean player Luis Valencia pushing the cart while carries Mascherano looks back in disgust.
Photo: Getty Images.