Connect with us

Soccer

What is a blue card in soccer? IFAB delays announcement on controversial sin-bin rule

Changes to football’s laws have been a frequent source of controversy and debate over recent years, especially in the VAR era.

“Armpit offsides” and disagreements over what might, or might, not be considered handball depending on the competition in question are conversations fans would never have expected a decade ago.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the sport’s global rulemaking body and had been primed for a major announcement on February 9. Now, a hostile reaction appears to have caused a rethink.

But what is a blue card, and is football ready to bring in sin bins? After a volatile period, is another seismic change to how the game operates really in anyone’s interests?

MORE: Lionel Messi Hong Kong controversy: Government slam Inter Miami star, organiser offers ticket refunds

What is a blue card in soccer? IFAB’s sin bin plans revealed

A report by Telegraph Sport on February 8 revealed IFAB was planning to introduce sin-bin trials.

Football already has red cards to dismiss players from the rest of the game and yellow cards or cautions for less serious offences. If a player accrues two yellow cards, they are also sent off.

The IFAB proposal focuses on certain offences — namely cynical, tactical fouls or dissent towards match officials — that might be deemed to be at the more serious end of the spectrum when it comes to yellow card transgressions but not serious enough for a straight red card.

Such instances have sometimes been referred to colloquially as “orange card” offences. Under the IFAB plans, a player would be shown a blue card and removed from the field for 10 minutes.

A reason for the colour choice is that blue can be clearly differentiated from yellow and red. It would be the first new card introduced to football since red and yellow cards were adopted for the 1970 World Cup.

Blue cards would tally up in the same way as yellow cards. If a player receives a second blue card in a game or a yellow and a blue card, they will be sent off.

Will the Premier League have blue cards?

Top-tier competitions, such as the Premier League and the Champions League, were due to be excluded from initial trials, according to reports.

However, the Telegraph claimed that the men’s and women’s FA Cups in England were being considered as part of the testing process in 2024/25.

As the predominantly negative reaction ramped up in the aftermath of those initial revelations, world football’s governing body, FIFA, sought to quell fears that a fundamental change would quickly sweep across the sport.

“FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” it said in a statement. 

“Any such trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels, a position that FIFA intends to reiterate when this agenda item is discussed at the IFAB AGM on March 2.”

MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo 39th birthday: Year-by-year career stats as CR7 celebrates on February 5

Why was blue card sin-bin announcement delayed?

FIFA’s intervention contributed significantly to the backlash, which also included UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saying introducing sin-bins would be “the death of football”.

Although unflattering contrasts are frequently drawn between football’s dissent problem and the situation in rugby union, where sin-bins are an established part of the sport, reactions to the blue card suggestions were lukewarm at the very best.

On February 9, Telegraph Sport picked up their story to reveal IFAB had scrapped its plans to go public with a blue cards announcement.

It remains to be seen where the proposals go from here. The overwhelming impression is that fans would be very happy to see them kicked into the long grass.

Nevertheless, if FIFA has effectively acted to block IFAB from introducing a flagship new rule, it does raise questions over who has ultimate jurisdiction over the laws of the game.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Soccer