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Football: Blue Cards!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

It has been announced by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that there will be a trial of referees issuing professional footballers with a new ‘blue card’ and sending them to a ‘sin bin’ for ten minutes to encourage respect and fair play.

‘Sin bins’ have been used at the ‘grass roots’ level of the game since the 2019-2020 season, with some success, leading to less dissent and better behaviour on the field of play.

The English Premier League will not be participating in this trial, the starting date and length of which has not yet been announced by the IFAB, which will hold its AGM on 1 March 2024 at Loch Lomond in Scotland. Neither have the competitions to which the trial will apply.

The World Governing Body of Football, FIFA, has stated that:

Reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature.”

Also, not all football managers are in favour of the ‘blue card’ idea, and some consider that priority should be given to a review of the working of VAR, which is not without its critics.

So, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the ‘blue card’ trial in due course!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at: ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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