Yemenis channel their inner referee with red card protest

Posted by - March 28, 2011 - Oddballs

Referees and democracy in the same story for the first time ever!

Pro-democracy protesters in Yemen are giving unpopular President Ali Abdullah Saleh the football treatment… by holding up red cards. Associated Press reports that demonstrators intend the cards as a signal to the President that he must depart the ‘field’ -in this case, the country – immediately.

Despite Saleh trying to rally his own supporters in front of the palace – something like pleading with the referee’s assistant for a different interpretation – according to AP “across town, an even larger number of people converged on a square in front of Sanaa University chanting slogans calling for his ouster and waving red cards emblazoned with the word ‘leave’, despite fears of more violence a week after government security forces shot dead more than 40 demonstrators in the capital.”

Rather than a straight red, it appears to be the culmination of 32 years of bookable offences by the President.