The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is poised to introduce trials for sin bins in professional football, with detailed protocols expected to be unveiled soon. These trials will grant referees the authority to temporarily remove players for 10 minutes for dissent or cynical fouls, a move that aims to improve player behavior on the field.
As part of these trials, IFAB is set to introduce a new disciplinary measure in the form of blue cards, marking the first addition to the traditional red and yellow cards in over 50 years. The use of red and yellow cards dates back to 1970 and has since become standard practice across football associations worldwide.
Under the proposed system, players will face temporary dismissal with a blue card for specific offenses, with the possibility of expulsion if they accumulate two blue cards or a combination of a blue and a yellow card during a match. While trials at the elite level could commence soon, top-tier competitions like the UEFA Champions League are initially excluded from participating.
Despite initial reservations from some quarters, including FIFA President Aleksander Ceferin, about the introduction of blue cards in elite football, several football associations, including the Football Association (FA), are considering trialing sin bins in competitions like the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup next season.
The introduction of new disciplinary measures reflects ongoing efforts by IFAB to address player behavior and improve the overall conduct on the field. These changes aim to foster a more respectful and sportsmanlike environment in football, ultimately enhancing the integrity and enjoyment of the game for players and fans alike.