Blue cards to be introduced into football for sinbins under Ifab trials

Players will be sinbinned for 10 minutes over dissent or cynical fouls in measures that could be trialled in next season’s FA Cup

Footballers would be shown blue cards and sent to a sinbin for dissent and cynical fouls under plans to be unveiled by the body that decides the laws of the game.

Sitting alongside the currently existing yellow and red cards, a blue card would result in a player being removed from the field of play for 10 minutes.

At risk of muddying the palette, there will also be the possibility to mix colours. If a player returns from the sinbin and receives another blue card, he would also be shown a red card and be permanently dismissed from the field. A combination of one blue and one yellow, meanwhile, would also make red.

The recommendations are set to be made by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) on Friday in advance of of trials across competitions.


The innovation is part of a concerted attempt by power brokers across international football to improve “participant behaviour” in the game, after a rise in on-field altercations. The commonly held belief is that such behaviour trickles down into both spectator behaviour and incidents in grassroots sport with real life consequences for both players and referees.

Tightened rules that prevent players from confronting a referee, and increased financial sanctions for those who break them, were introduced across English football at the start of this season. In the autumn, meanwhile, Ifab announced that they would expand trials of sinbins after successful implementation in a number of grassroots competitions, many of them in England.

The Football Association is reported to be exploring the possibility of using the FA Cup as part of the trials process, meaning a disgruntled multimillionaire could be shown a blue card in as little as 12 months’ time.

The trials have not been authorised for top level competitions, however, meaning there will be no sinbins in the Premier League, and the proposals have not met with support from Uefa who have no plans to roll out sin bins to either this summer’s men’s European Championship or the Champions League.

Alexander Ceferin, the Uefa president, has described sinbins as “the death of football” and he has not been alone in expressing opposition. Already scarred by the problematic introduction of video refereeing technology, prominent figures within the game have been derisive.

“Just bin the whole idea, forget about it. I don’t know why they keep interjecting themselves into the game,” said Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou.

But the chief executive of the FA, Mark Bullingham, who sits on the board of Ifab, has defended the innovation.

“The success of sinbins in the grassroots game has been prevention, rather than cure,” he said in December. “You get to a point where players know the threat of sinbins, so don’t transgress. And we would hope that it would make the same change [higher up the game].”

Ifab has been approached for comment. – Guardian