In this post, we explain the football phrase ‘To receive marching orders’.To receive marching orders

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Language: To receive marching orders

When a player commits a second yellow card offence or receives a straight red card he or she is sent off, they cannot continue playing. Another phrase with a similar meaning is ‘receive your marching orders‘ as in ‘the player received his marching orders after a dangerous tackle’. This phrase has other meanings, so for example, according to the Cambridge online dictionary, it means that a worker has to leave their job, while one of our podcast listeners from Germany suggests that the phrase means that someone is given a special task to do when used in German.

Example: ‘…The 29-year-old scored in his first league game back to double Atleti’s lead but picked up a second yellow for jumping into the crowd at the (The Wanda Stadium) and received his marching order.’ (6th January 2018, Independent).

Example: ‘John Toshack gets his marching orders‘ (Daily Express, Aug 14 2002) Here, Toshack was the manager of the Macedonian national team but was fired after only 8 games in charge.

Other related phrases

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