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08th Feb 2024

Football to introduce blue cards in major refereeing shake up

Callum Boyle

Blue card

Players will be removed from the pitch for 10 minutes

Blue cards will be introduced to football as part of the trials to include sin bins into games.

The Telegraph revealed that the decision, which will be announced on Friday, that the International Football Association Board (Ifab) will bring in the blue card.

This will be the first time a new card has been introduced since the yellow and red cards at the 1970 World Cup.

What is a sin bin?

The dictionary definition states that a sin bin is: “an area off the field of play where a player who has committed a foul can be sent to sit for a specified period.”

It’s commonly used in sports such as hockey and rugby and allows officials to send off players for 10 minutes to give the team of that individual a numerical disadvantage for a brief period of the game.

Sin bins football

What could a sin bin be given for?

Sin bins will most likely be given for acts of dissent or tactical fouls. 

This may be when a player argues with a referee or commits a cynical foul that was deserves to be punished but isn’t enough to warrant a red card.

One example of when a sin bin would be awarded under the new rules was Giorgio Chiellini’s foul on Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final.

Chiellini deliberately pulled on Saka’s shirt to stop him using his pace to get away from the veteran, potentially saving Italy from a goal threat.

Although it wasn’t bad enough to deserve a red, a sin bin would’ve been awarded, giving an Italy a one-man disadvantage for 10 minutes.

Sin bins football

Two blue cards in red game will officially be classed as a red card while one yellow and one blue will also warrant a sending off.

According to The Times, the Football Association will consider trialling them in the FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup next season.

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