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Blue cards in football? 10-minute sin bins set to be introduced by lawmakers

On Friday, the International Football Association Board [IFAB] will release the comprehensive guidelines for professional football sin-bin trials.

It is anticipated that the IFAB will have a blue card clause.

Referees will have the authority to send players out for ten minutes during the trials if they exhibit cynical fouls or dissent.

A player received two blue cards, or a blue and a yellow card, and would be substituted out of the game for the remainder of it.

At its annual conference in March, IFAB is expected to approve the extended sin-bin trials at top levels of the game.

The sport’s governing body decided in November of last year to introduce the trials, which have already taken place in amateur and youth football in Wales and England, to higher levels of the game.

Additionally, board members had backed a trial that would have limited who might approach the referee to the team captain in key game scenarios.

However, FIFA called blue cards in elite football “premature” and said “any trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels”.

The Football Association may test out sin bins in the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup the following season, according to The Times.

However, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin declared in January that he was vehemently against the use of sin bins, stating: “It’s not football anymore.” As a result, they will not be utilised in either the European championship in Germany this summer or the Uefa Champions League the next season.

During the IFAB meeting on Thursday, Italy center-back Giorgio Chiellini’s shirt-pulling of England forward Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final was cited as an example of a blue card due to Chiellini only receiving a yellow card when the foul seemed more cynical.

Back in November, the IFAB approved trials that would have allowed the team captain to be the only person to approach the referee and to test sin bins at a higher level.

The organization’s annual general meeting, scheduled for March 2 in Glasgow, will discuss and approve any suggested modifications to the game’s statutes after those suggestions were approved at the IFAB’s Annual Business Meeting (ABM) in London.

Board member 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.

“The starting point was looking at player behaviour and dissent – we’re then looking at whether we should extend it into other areas, such as tactical fouls, as well.”

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