- New sin-bin protocols could be trialled at FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup matches
- Yellow and red cards were first introduced into the game in the 1970 World Cup.
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Plans for a blue card will be announced as part of 10-minute no-bin tests by football lawmakers, in what would be the first new card added to the professional game since yellow and red were introduced for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will publish its protocols on Friday, with blue believed to be preferred over orange to clearly differentiate it from yellow and red.
Referees would have the power to send players to the sin-bin if they commit a cynical foul – such as killing a fast break – or show disagreement with the match officials. Two blues, or a combination of yellow and blue, would add up to a red.
FA sources indicate he could be tested in the FA Cup (and other competitions such as the FA Trophy and FA Vase) as early as next season if they agree to IFAB parameters. Premier League insiders on Thursday downplayed its possible introduction into their competition in the short term, although they will continue to closely monitor the test.
FIFA issued a statement on Thursday evening to say that suggestions that the blue card could come “at the elite levels of football are incorrect and premature”. They added: “Any such testing, if implemented, should be limited to testing responsibly at lower levels.”
The blue card will be limited to fouls that prevent a promising attack, as well as confirming that a red card must be shown if they receive two blues or a combination of blue and yellow.
The new protocol will also be limited to cases of disagreement with a match referee.
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Rugby-style rules would revolutionize the way the game is played, with the IFAB citing Giorgio Chiellini’s stripping of Bukayo Saka’s shirt in England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy as worthy of a 10 minute expulsion. Chiellini received a yellow card.
Sin-bins have been tested in amateur and youth football and are seen as a successful way of dealing with dissent. Pierluigi Collina, president of the FIFA referees committee, previously said there was a desire to expand the experiment by introducing it at a professional level.
The IFAB is set to give the green light to testing at the highest levels of the game at its upcoming annual general meeting in Scotland next month. Other items on that agenda include testing ‘cooling off periods’ after clashes between players and allowing only the team captain to approach the referee, another rule borrowed from rugby.
Former Premier League referees told Mail Sport on Thursday that they would have appreciated being allowed to issue a blue card, insisting the added threat of disciplinary action would deter misbehaving players.
But not everyone in football is in favor of change. In December, Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou said sin bins should be “thrown in the bin”, adding: “I don’t know why they (IFAB) keep intervening in the game.” There isn’t much wrong with the game.
The yellow card of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini for committing a foul on Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final has been used as an example
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has stated that he would not allow trials in the European Championship, the Champions League, the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.
However, if sin-bins were eventually introduced into the laws of the game after successful trials, Ceferin would have no choice, despite saying last month that “it’s not football anymore.”
The IFAB is trying to tackle the rise in abuse towards referees and Collina is backing Mail Sport’s campaign to reduce bad behavior by participants, which he described as “a cancer that kills football”.