IFAB set to trial ‘blue’ cards in England

February 9 – Football may witness a transformative change as the International Football Association Board (IFAB) contemplates the introduction of blue cards, which could be trialled in England as soon as next season’s FA Cup. 

Designed to address dissent and cynical fouls whilst improving ‘participant behaviour’, blue cards would join the familiar yellow and red counterparts.

A player handed a blue card would face a 10-minute exile from the field, introducing a nuanced approach to disciplinary measures.

The potential for colour mixing adds another layer to the controversial system; a player returning from the sin-bin and earning a subsequent blue card would escalate to a red card, resulting in a permanent expulsion.

Similarly, a strategic blend of one blue and one yellow card could spell out a red card, marking a significant shift in the traditional card system.

The recommendations are set to be made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on Friday ahead of trials across competitions. During the autumn, IFAB revealed plans to broaden the trials of sin-bins following successful implementation in numerous grassroots competitions, with a significant number of them taking place in England.

UEFA president Alexander Ceferin described sin-bins as “the death of football” and he has not been alone in expressing discontent.

“Just bin the whole idea, forget about it. I don’t know why they keep interjecting themselves into the game,” was the verdict of the Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou, who is never shy to share his opinion.

England manager Gareth Southgate also weighed in: “If discipline’s bad you send players off! That’s quite simple really.”

In defence of the ‘innovation’, chief executive of the FA Mark Bullingham, who also sits on the IFAB board, said: “The success of sin-bins in the grassroots game has been prevention, rather than cure,” he said in December.

“You get to a point where players know the threat of sin-bins, so don’t transgress. And we would hope that it would make the same change [higher up the game].”

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1709263429labto1709263429ofdlr1709263429owedi1709263429sni@g1709263429niwe.1709263429yrrah1709263429