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LONDON -
October 26, 2001

Famed Soccer Referee Ken Aston Dies


LONDON

Ken Aston, the referee who introduced soccer's red and yellow cards and officiated one of the most infamous World Cup games, died at 86.



Aston, who retired from British soccer after officiating the 1963 Football Association Cup at Wembley, died Tuesday.

Aston thought of the yellow and red cards while sitting at a traffic light after working a 1966 World Cup quarterfinal between England and Argentina. In that game, several players did not realize they had been penalized. The cards were introduced for the 1970 World Cup.

Aston worked the brutal 1962 World Cup game between Italy and Chile, dubbed the "The Battle of Santiago."

The nose of Italian captain Huberto Maschio was broken by Chile's Leonel Sanchez, who was later kung-fu kicked. Police came onto the field three times during Chile's 2-0 victory.

"I wasn't reffing a football match, I was acting as an umpire in military maneuvers," Aston said.

Aston was chairman of FIFA's referees committee for four years. Other innovations he introduced were the design of the black and white uniform, a modified linesman flag for better visibility, and the fourth referee.

In the United States, he created a tournament to judge referees. He was honored as a Member of the Order of British Empire for services to U.S. soccer in 1997.

A tournament in California was named after him. The first Ken Aston Cup was held in 1986 in Mission Viejo, Calif.

Aston is survived by his wife, Hilda, and son Peter.


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