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Football to enter its blue era? Not so fast, says UEFA

Like Picasso, we’re getting abstract.

FC Bayern München v Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bundesliga
Blue skies over Bayern vs. Gladbach.
Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Modern football got you down?

Enter the “sin-bin” trials.

According to multiple reports, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will introduce a new card to the referee’s arsenal, starting with trials at lower levels of competition. (So, not coming soon to a Bayern Munich or Germany game near you.)

You’ve heard of red cards, you’ve heard of yellow cards. What about an offense that is in between? Get ready for, blue!

Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper, I am not afraid

The idea? A 10-minute “sin-bin” where any moderately offending player, being naughty in the ref’s sight, shall tough out a time-out, away from the pitch.

Detailed explanation as captured here by @iMiaSanMia, via Telegraph:

A blue card is to be introduced to football as part of sin-bin trials to be announced on Friday.

The revolutionary move will be announced by the IFAB as part of sin-bin protocols that will see players removed from the field for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent towards a match official

The new protocol announced on Friday will limit the new card to fouls that prevent a promising attack plus dissent, as well as confirming a player should be shown a red card if they receive two blue cards during a match or a combination of yellow and blue.

Top-tier competitions will be excluded from initial testing in the professional game in case the protocols require further refinement, but elite trials could still begin as soon as the summer


Further clarification that the practice will remain indeed far away from top-level football for now, including EURO 2024 and the Champions League, and even faces opposition from UEFA:

Sin-bins will not be used in this summer’s Euros or next term’s Champions League after the president of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, told @TeleFootball last month he was completely opposed to them, adding: “It’s not football anymore.”

UEFA nevertheless could be forced to introduce them if, as expected, trials lead to them being added to the laws of the game


If implemented, the move could be a boon for attackers and cause a change in defenders’ tactics. The potential for fewer defenders on the pitch at any given time may lead to a rise in the air-speed velocity of an unladen striker’s shot — and the thrill of more goals.

But, like rule changes in other sports, we will see live trials at lower levels first.

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