Football is on the brink of introducing blue cards as part of the International Football Association Board’s (Ifab) plan to combat dissent and cynical fouls during matches. In addition to the traditional yellow and red cards, a blue card would see a player sent to a sin-bin for a period of 10 minutes. The proposal aims to address the rise in on-field altercations and improve participant behavior in the game.
The Telegraph report that under the new system, players risk receiving a combination of cards. If a player returns from the sin-bin and receives another blue card, they would subsequently be shown a red card and permanently dismissed from the game. Similarly, a combination of one blue and one yellow card would result in a red card.
These recommendations are expected to be made by Ifab on Friday, with plans for trials across various competitions. The move reflects a broader effort across international football to promote better behavior on the field, amid concerns about its impact on spectator behavior and grassroots sport.
While sin-bin trials have seen success in several grassroots competitions, including some in England, they have not been authorized for top-level competitions. This means there will be no sin-bins in prestigious leagues like the Premier League, and UEFA has no plans to introduce them in the upcoming European Championship or the Champions League.
Uefa President Alexander Ceferin has expressed skepticism about sin-bins, describing them as “the death of football.” However, Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the FA and a member of Ifab’s board, has defended the innovation. Bullingham emphasizes the preventive nature of sin-bins, suggesting that the threat alone can deter players from transgressing.