IFAB set to introduce blue cards for football sin bins


The International Football Association Board [IFAB] will publish the detailed protocols for sin-bin trials in professional football on Friday.

The IFAB is expected to include a provision for blue cards.

In the trials, referees will have the power to send players off for 10 minutes for dissent or cynical fouls.

IFAB is set to give the go ahead for the extended sin-bin trials in senior levels of the game at its annual meeting in March.

There have already been trials in amateur and youth football in both England and Wales.

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Speaking in November, Sky Sports News chief news reporter Kaveh Solhekol gave an update on IFAB discussions where the focus is on player behaviour and in particular the crack down on dissent, introducing sin bins and a review on VAR

According to The Times, The Football Association will consider trialling sin bins in the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup next season.

However, sin bins will not be used at either this summer’s European championship in Germany, or in next season’s Uefa Champions League after Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin revealed in January that he was completely opposed to them, saying: “It’s not football anymore.”

One example given of a blue card during Thursday’s IFAB meeting was from the Euro 2020 final Italy centre-back Giorgio Chiellini’s shirt pull on England forward Bukayo Saka which only resulted in a yellow card.

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Former Premier League referee Mike Dean vehemently opposes the idea of bringing sin bins into the game of football.

‘Sin bins have worked very, very well in the grassroots of the game’

The IFAB approved proposed trials whereby only the team captain may approach the referee and for sin bins to be tested at a higher level back in November.

Those proposals were then supported at the IFAB’s Annual Business Meeting (ABM) in London which shaped the agenda for the organisation’s annual general meeting, which will be held on March 2 in Glasgow, where any proposed changes to the laws of the game will be considered for approval.

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.

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Watch the best reaction from around the footballing world as a host of Premier League managers and Sky Sports pundits react to the news of sin-bins potentially being introduced in games.

“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.”

Merson Says: Sin bins would kill the Premier League

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:

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Paul Merson was left aghast following suggestions that football might introduce a sin-bin system in the professional game.

You put someone in the sin bin in football for 10 minutes, you’re killing the game. You’d get 10 players sitting behind the ball the whole time, it’d be the most boring football ever. It’s an absolute waste of time, a waste of time.

“Everybody loves the Premier League, you have a shot at one end and there’s a corner up the other end 30 seconds later. That just goes out the window for this 10 minutes, the team with the man down have got no choice but to sit behind the ball.

“All they’d be doing then for that 10 minutes is taking their time over taking a throw-in, they’ll take a goal kick, they’ll buy a foul, and it’ll just grind out the worst 10 minutes you could imagine.

“You’re playing in the biggest league in the world, there’s going to be emotions, they get high – that’s the way it is. You’re playing to win, everybody wants to win. The thing they need to really get rid of is cheating.”

IFAB keen to improve player behaviour

IFAB secretary Lukas Brud spoke exclusively to Sky Sports as part of our Future of Football series last summer and explained player behaviour was one of three of the main topics on IFAB’s agenda for the future along with technology and player welfare.

“One of the main topics we are looking into at the moment is improved participant behaviour on and around the field of play,” Brud told Sky Sports back in July. “We want to find a way to improve the behaviour of all participants because of the retention of referees, and motivating referees to participate in the game and become referees is decreasing.

“We need to find a way of making sure there are enough referees, that they are being respected and that they can work properly on the field of play.”

Future of Football Rule changes: What’s on IFAB’s radar? Behaviour, time-wasting & consistency

Player behaviour, technology and player welfare are three of the main topics on the International Football Association Board agenda for the future.

Player behaviour was a theme throughout last season with 15 of the 20 Premier League clubs fined at least once for failing to control their players.

Brud went on to explain the sin bin was on of the ideas that could help with player behaviour.

“There are a number of ideas on the table in relation to player behaviour,” he said. “The sin bin is certainly one of them.

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FA chief executive Mark Bullingham and former referee Pierluigi Collina explain their aim to change the culture in football and to clamp down on poor behaviour.

“We are going to create a working group at IFAB, with different stakeholders in the game, to see what kind of ideas could be introduced into the game or trialled at least.

“The temporary dismissal is certainly one of them because it is already being applied at some lower levels of the game. But whether it might be trialled at the top level of the game or not, this is something we will be discussing over the next couple of years.”

Future of Football: Rule changes you wanted to see… and ones you didn’t

Future of Football: What rules do you want implemented in the Premier League and beyond?

We asked you for your views on what rule changes you would like to see implemented in football. Which ideas did you like… And which did you send for an early bath?

Over the years, football has had to change with the times and the Laws of the Game have played a major part in that – whether it be the implementation of the back-pass rule, the introduction of VAR, goal-line technology – even substitutes, which were only brought into the professional game in 1958.

As part of our Future of Football series, one of the major strands we’re looking at is how those rule changes might progress over the next few decades. That will all happen under the watchful eye of IFAB, the international body whose task is to run the rule over the laws of the game, both what works and what doesn’t, every year.

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As part of the Future of Football series, we mocked up an 11-a-side game and, following a survey taken by 7,000 fans, changed six major rules of football, including no heading, power plays, and goals counting double from outside the box.

Almost 7,000 of you responded to a survey we ran across Sky Sports earlier this year, asking for your thoughts and ratings on a scale of 1-10 for a variety of potential rule changes. Those were then whittled down – while adding a couple of our own – to six new additions for an 11-vs-11 game, which you can view below.

Here’s what you thought of the initial suggestions, from the ones you loved to the ones you were, let’s say, less keen on…



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