Poll shows teams the Green Card

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 7: Former Referee Graham Poll poses for pictures with the Green Card during a photo call for the Carlsberg Pub Cup on February 7, 2012 in London, England. The Carlsberg Pub Cup is a nationwide five aside competition for players of all standards. Carlsberg is Official Beer of the England Football Team and sponsor of UEFA EURO 2012. (Photo by Chris Lee/Getty Images for Carlsberg)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 7: Former Referee Graham Poll poses for pictures with the Green Card during a photo call for the Carlsberg Pub Cup on February 7, 2012 in London, England. The Carlsberg Pub Cup is a nationwide five aside competition for players of all standards. Carlsberg is Official Beer of the England Football Team and sponsor of UEFA EURO 2012. (Photo by Chris Lee/Getty Images for Carlsberg)

FORMER World Cup referee Graham Poll paid a visit to Wembley Stadium this month to put his weight behind a new five-a-side competition.

The Carlsberg Pub Cup Green Card scheme is part of the Carlsberg Pub Cup – a nationwide five-a-side tournament that offers football teams a chance to represent their local pub at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

The Green Card tournament will give 16 teams knocked out during the group stages an additional opportunity to play at the Emirates, regardless of their standard.

Referees will reward Green Cards to players and teams who show sportsmanship, team spirit or fair play, as well as anyone who has overcome the odds to play.

Poll, who lives in Tring, said: “This is a great initiative for players of any standard to get involved in this five-a-side competition. The Green Card tournament means all entrants, whatever their standards, have the opportunity to reach the grand final at The Emirates, so there’s no excuse not to enter.”

So far, more than 2,500 pubs have registered for the scheme nationwide, and teams can enter the competition by obtaining a unique pin from their local pub and registering on the official Carlsberg Pub Cup website.

Regional qualifying tournaments will be held at Powerleague and Goals centres throughout March, with regional winners progressing to the final at the Emirates.

The overall winning pub team will get VIP England treatment this summer.

They will take part in a pre-tournament training session and get measured for suits, before being presented with a full playing kit and flying to represent England against a team of European legends under the management of former England international Gareth Southgate.

For more information on the scheme, or to register a team, visit www.carlsberg.co.uk/pubcup