The 92-times capped Brazilian international fell foul of the Video Assistant Referee system last night in a Major League Soccer clash.
Kaka would not exactly be renowned for being a player with a fiery temper. The stylish Brazilian had amassed three red cards in his career prior to this game and only one of those was a straight red.
Over the weekend he received what will surely be the harshest red of his life.
Deep into stoppage time of Orlando City’s loss to the New York Red Bulls, with New York leading 3-1, players from both sides came together. A bit of pushing and shoving followed, general handbags really.
As the teams were beginning to separate, Kaka jokingly put his hands around the mouth of New York’s Aurelien Collin. Collin played with Kaka, at Orlando, before being traded to New York last year. The pair laughed off the incident immediately and the actions were clearly meant to be playful.
However, MLS’s new video replay system was called into play, and referee Jorge Gonzalez consulted a video screen on the sideline. Despite protests from Collin, and an attempt to explain that he and Kaka were friends, the official was not going to be talked out of enforcing the rules. The referee saw fit to brandish a red card to Kaka for the incident.
While technically the offence ‘merits’ a red card, the referee could surely have applied common sense to the situation. There was no aggression in the action, quite the opposite in fact.
It was merely two ex-teammates sharing a joke, during a tense moment. Actions like this can help defuse tension in games. It is decisions like this that leave players, managers and fans alike tearing their hair out at a lack of common sense being applied to the rules by referees.
Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena