Blue card and sin bin trial announcement delayed
Football’s lawmakers have delayed plans to publish details of sin bin trials at higher levels of football until next month.
Trial protocols on sin bins, plus other measures to combat poor player behaviour, were expected to be published on Friday, but it is understood they will now be the subject of further discussion at the International Football Association Board’s annual general meeting at Loch Lomond on March 2.
It is unclear precisely why the IFAB has chosen to delay the publication and which aspects of the protocols remain under discussion.
Sin bins have been used in grassroots football successfully for a number of years, but the IFAB indicated at its annual business meeting in November a willingness to test them at higher levels.
It is understood that in these planned trials players would be shown blue cards for dissent and tactical fouls, such as Giorgio Chiellini’s cynical tug on Bukayo Saka for Italy against England in the Euro 2020 final.
The introduction of a blue card, if it passed into the laws of the game, would mark the biggest single change in managing player discipline since red and yellow cards came into force at the 1970 World Cup.
It is understood the plan was not to test sin bins in top-level competitions initially and stress test them in lower-level events. This is understood to be because of concerns about the impact on players coping with different rules being used in a domestic league and a continental competition for instance.
It is unclear precisely what level the IFAB had in mind for these trials, but certainly a higher level than the grassroots game.
The agenda for next month’s AGM published earlier this week confirmed discussions would be held on the trials approved at November’s ABM for sin bins, captain-only zones around referees and the testing of cooling-off periods as a means for managing mass confrontations.
There is also due to be a discussion around a new trial on how best to tackle the problem of goalkeepers holding on to the ball for too long.
The sport’s global governing body FIFA posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday night to say that reports around the use of blue cards in elite football were “incorrect and premature”.
The global governing body added: “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 March 2.”
Sin bins were introduced across all levels of grassroots football from the 2019-20 season in an attempt to improve levels of respect and fair play in the game.
The rule change was implemented up to step five of the National League system and tier three and below in women’s football.Published: by Radio NewsHub