The International Football Association Board [IFAB] is set to introduce blue cards in football next season as a part of sin-bin trials which will allow referees to remove players for 10 minutes over dissent or cynical fouls.
The trial, which is expected to be implemented during the 2024/25 campaign, is being touted as a means to “improve participant behaviour in the game”. According to reports in The Telegraph, the trials have not been authorised for top-level competitions yet, but are expected to debut in the men’s and women’s FA Cup competitions next term.
Blue Card & Sin Bin Trial Set to Debut Next Term
How Will Blue Cards Work?
A single blue card will see a player be sent to the sin-bin for a 10-minute timeout. However, players will be sent off if they receive two blue cards or a combination of a blue and a yellow card.
The IFAB explained the need for the rule by providing an example from the Euro 2020 final where Italy centre-back Giorgio Chiellini dragged back England’s Bukayo Saka by pulling on his shirt which only resulted in a yellow card.
Will this significant change help referees? 🤔
IFAB will publish detailed protocols for sin-bin trials in professional football tomorrow, which is expected to include a provision for blue cards 🟦 pic.twitter.com/soyB1QaQdE
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 8, 2024
Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the Football Association, said: “When we were looking at sin bins – protocol clearly has to be developed – the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it’s worked very, very well in the grassroots game in England.
“We’ve also spoken about other areas, particularly tactical fouls. I think frustration for fans watching games when they see a promising counter-attack that’s ruined by that and the question of whether a yellow card is sufficient for that has led to us looking at whether that should be involved in the protocol as well.”
FIFA Not In Favour Of New Rule
In a statement issued on Thursday, February 08, 2024, FIFA said: “FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature. Any such trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels, a position that FIFA intends to reiterate when this agenda item is discussed at the IFAB AGM on 1 March.”
FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called 'blue card' at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature.
Any such trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels, a position that FIFA intends to reiterate when this…
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 8, 2024
Alexander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, described blue cards and sin-bins as the “death of football”. And he is not alone. England manager Gareth Southgate said: “I would have said the game has worked quite well for a long time. I know, I suppose we always have to modernise with certain things.
“But, yeah, I’d have to really understand how that was going to work before I could give a really strong view. If discipline’s bad you send players off! That’s quite simple really.”