FIFA clarify ‘incorrect’ reports over introduction of blue cards and sin bins– here’s everything you need to know

FIFA clarify ‘incorrect’ reports over introduction of blue cards and sin bins– here’s everything you need to know

The use of blue cards and sin bins in football will be explored, though FIFA has hit out at ‘incorrect and premature’ reports regarding their immediate use in elite competition.

On Thursday, reports emerged that the International Football Association Board (Ifab) had signed off on the trials, with an official announcement due on Friday.

It would be the first time since the introduction of the classic yellow and red cards at the 1970 World Cup that a new card would be used in the sport.

However, following an immediate backlash to the plans, FIFA has released a statement clarifying their intentions and playing down the likelihood of seeing them introduced in elite football any time soon.

‘FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,’ read the 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 2 March.’

If those lower-level trials are successful, blue cards and sin bins could eventually come to the Premier League. But how do they work and what will they be dished out for? Metro Sport explains all:

What do blue cards mean in football?

Similar to rugby, players shown a blue card will be removed from the pitch for 10 minutes.

They will be handed out if they show dissent towards a match official or commit a cynical foul that prevents a promising attack, for example Giorgio Chiellini’s infamous shirt-pull on Bukayo Saka during the Euro 2020 final.

Should a player receive two blue cards or a combination of blue and yellow, they will be shown a red card and sent off for good.

Will they be used in the Premier League?

No, or at least not yet.

Back in November, Ifab, whose board includes Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham, agreed that sin bins would be trialled in elite competitions like the Premier League.

However, top-tier competitions will not be used for the initial trial stage but if they prove successful they could be included later on down the line.

What leagues will they be used in?

Sin bins have already been used at grassroots and youth level, and have been successful at cutting down on dissent – something that has become a bigger issue at the very top of the game.

The FA is considering whether to use next season’s FA Cup and Women’s FA Cup for testing purposes – though that now seems unlikely given FIFA’s statement.

The Football Association of Wales had planned to trial blue cards this season, but failed to obtain clearance to do so, so any players sent to the sin bin have been shown a yellow card instead.

Two places that certainly will not be trialing them are this summer’s Euros or next season’s Champions League with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin firmly against the idea.

He is quoted as saying: ‘It’s not football anymore,’ but may be forced to eat his words if the trials lead to them being added to the laws of the game.

Why are they blue?

Pretty simple: while orange would be the appropriate choice, blue was chosen in order to differentiate the sin bin cards more clearly from a yellow or red card.

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