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Blue cards explained: Sin bin rules set for elite football

Blue cards explained: Sin bin rules set for elite football

Blue cards are set to be introduced to football, following new directives from the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

IFAB is set to give the green light for extended sin-bin trials in senior levels of football from March, following on from trials in lower leagues and grassroots football. It is expected that the top level of the game will adopt the so-called ‘blue cards’ – with the Premier League to follow the rules in the future.

A blue card will result in a 10-minute “sin bin” where a player sits out from the match, with the cards issued for dissent or cynical challenges in games. A combination of two blue cards or a blue card and a yellow will result in a red card. 

: FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final between the Houston Dynamo FC and Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on September 27, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Roy Miller/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

FIFA are expected to implement blue cards globally (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to The Times, The English Football Association will consider using sin bin trials in the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup from next season – though Euro 2024 will remain immune to the new initiative, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said to strongly oppose the idea. 

“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,” IFAB board member and chief executive of the Football Association, Mark Bullingham, claimed. 

“We’ve also spoken about other areas, particularly tactical fouls. 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.”

The idea has gone down particularly badly on social media, with swathes fans rejecting the idea of sin bins. 

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