FIFA rules panel scraps plan for blue cards

AP , Saturday 2 Mar 2024

There will be no blue cards shown in soccer, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Saturday ahead of the annual meeting of the sport’s rule-making panel.

File Photo: FIFA President Giovanni Infantino attends the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2024 final match between Brazil and Italy at the Dubai Design District Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: AP

The rules panel known as IFAB is due to look at extending trials of “sin bins” at low-level games. But beyond that, the idea aired one month ago of adding blue cards to referees’ pockets with their red and yellow to remove players from the field for several minutes has been scrapped.

“Let me be clear — it’s a red card to the idea of ‘blue’ cards,” Infantino told reporters in a video clip posted overnight on his Instagram account. “There will not be any blue cards used at elite level.”

“This is a topic that is non-existent for us and FIFA is completely opposed to blue cards,” Infantino said at a lakeside hotel that will host the meeting near Glasgow.

Sin bins were introduced in grassroots soccer in the 2019-20 season to try to reduce dissent and increase fair play.

The idea has been unpopular with English Premier League coaches who believe teams will use defensive and negative tactics if a player is removed for 10 minutes.

However, the new suggestion of using blue cards to send players to sin bins was met with widespread derision.

The IFAB panel is made up of officials from FIFA and the four British soccer federations. FIFA has four votes and the federations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each has one. Six votes are needed for a proposal to pass.

Sin bins are used in rugby for a variety of fouls.

Ice hockey similarly whistles penalties that send players to the “penalty box.” Infractions such as tripping are two-minute penalties that give the other team an advantage called the “power play” that creates more goal-scoring opportunities.

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