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Football’s blue card sin bin trial announcement delayed

The proposed announcement of a trial for ‘blue cards’ and sin bins in professional football has been delayed.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) were set to publish the detailed protocols on Friday as part of the attempts from the game to clamp down on abuse towards match officials and cynical fouls.

However, following some pushback from stakeholders in the game — including FIFA — the decision has been made that further exchanges are needed.

The trial for sin bins, where blue cards are part of the protocol, as well as the other three trials to improve participant behaviour — a captain-only zone, cooling-off periods and punishment for goalkeeper timewasting — which were all agreed in November, remain approved.

The issue will now be discussed further at the annual general meeting in Loch Lomond, Scotland next month.

It is understood the trial won’t take place in the Premier League while the Football Association believe it is unlikely it will be rolled out in next season’s FA Cup either.

Sin bins for dissent are already in place across amateur and youth football in England and Wales but referees have been using yellow, rather than blue, cards.

IFAB first agreed to test it higher up the football pyramid in November.

On Thursday, FIFA reiterated that while the issue will be discussed in March, there was no immediate plans to introduce it into the elite game.

“FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” football’s international governing body said in a 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.”

(Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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