The International Football Association Board (Ifab) has approved the introduction of blue cards as part of sin-bin trials. This innovative measure, set to be announced on Friday, marks the first addition of a new card to the sport since the inception of yellow and red cards at the 1970 World Cup.
Under the new protocol, players will face a temporary removal from the field for a duration of 10 minutes if they commit cynical fouls or display dissent towards match officials. The blue card system, initially trialed by the Football Association of Wales in grassroots competitions, aims to differentiate itself clearly from existing yellow and red cards.
The decision by Ifab comes amidst efforts to refine disciplinary measures and address concerns regarding player behavior. The sin-bin protocols will focus on fouls that impede promising attacks and incidents of dissent. Furthermore, players accumulating two blue cards throughout a match, or a combination of yellow and blue cards, will be shown a red card.
While top-tier competitions are exempt from the initial testing phase to allow for further refinement of the protocols, discussions are underway regarding potential trials in prestigious tournaments like the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup next season.
However, the upcoming European Championship and the subsequent Champions League season will not feature sin-bins, as Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin expressed strong opposition to their implementation, citing concerns about altering the fundamental nature of football.