Football Introducing Blue Card for Player Discipline
10 February 2024
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State media

Football, often hailed as ‘the world’s most beautiful game,’ is on the brink of embracing a new innovation: the introduction of sin bins, accompanied by a new card.

The familiar yellow and red cards will soon have a new companion – the blue card, set to make its debut in the sport.

The blue card will signify sin bins, or temporary dismissals, allowing players to temporarily exit the field to deter abuse directed at referees.

According to reports, players will face a 10-minute expulsion from the game for committing cynical fouls or displaying dissent, as reported by The Telegraph.

In the event a player receives a second sin bin during the same match, they will not be permitted to return to play, although they can be substituted if their team has remaining substitutes. This approach offers a somewhat more lenient consequence compared to the traditional method of receiving two yellow cards, which results in a team playing with ten players.

This development aims to address player conduct and enhance respect for match officials, bridging the gap between yellow and red card offenses.

In November, The Guardian reported that blue cards have undergone trials in English football since the 2019-20 season, involving 31 grassroots leagues.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is anticipated to make an official announcement soon.

The Football Association (FA) of England disclosed that 72% of players, 77% of managers, and 84% of referees in grassroots football endorsed the sin bin rule, contributing to a 38% reduction in dissent.

Football has a history of embracing innovations, evidenced by the introduction of goal-line technology in 2014, Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR), and the adjustment of the number of substitutes permitted from three to five.