Plans to introduce a trial of blue cards into football have been ‘thrown into doubt’ following a remarkable backlash against the proposals, according to reports.
Football fans and pundits were left baffled by the news on Thursday that the new card would be trialled to sin-bin players guilty of minor offences for ten minutes – with raged supporters claiming the new rule change would ruin the game.
And now proposals from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have now been put on the back-burner following the growing opposition to the the idea – including from some of the biggest power-makers in the game – according to the Telegraph.
Mail Sport reported this week how supporters had been up in arms over the idea, with some saying the game was ‘finished’ – while pundits like Paul Merson claimed it would make football ‘boring’.
The latest report claims that unrest over the decision was summed up by a statement from FIFA, which confirmed sin-bin trials would not include top-tier competitions.
Further division on the concept was seen in UEFA too – with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin declaring he would not allow a trial in the European Championship, Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League.
An announcement had been planned for Friday, but instead the trial looks to be in serious doubt – with the future of blue cards set to be debated at the next annual general meeting of IFAB next month, the report goes on.
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou, Everton’s Sean Dyche, and Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson are among the Premier League managers to have previously voiced their opposition to ‘blue cards’.
While fans have taken to X, formerly Twitter, to air their anger accusing the ‘rich’ of ‘stealing our beautiful game’ and being left baffled by the pointless move.
It comes amid increasing concern from fans and coaches surrounding technology in the game, with a host of VAR mix-ups and mistakes seen in the Premier League this season that has angered coaches.
Premier League chief Tony Scholes admitting yesterday the technology still needs fixing five years on since it was first introduced.
With the idea of blue cards triggering a huge discussion within the football community this week, former Arsenal star Merson was one of the biggest vocal opponents.
He told Sky Sports: ‘You’d get 10 players sitting behind the ball the whole time, it’d be the most boring football ever. It’s an absolute waste of time, a waste of time.’
Blue cards have been used this season during a sin-bin trial in grassroots football in Wales, with the colour chosen to differentiate it clearly from a yellow or red card.
The introduction of new cards has already taken place on a smaller scale on the continent, with Portugal recently adopting a new measure to recognise good sportsmanship.
There has been some positive reception to the idea of blue cards.
FIFA referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina backed the idea of sin bins, saying: ‘The idea is to start working on this as soon as possible to provide those who would be involved in the trial a protocol to be used. The idea is to get it soon.
‘The trial was very successful in grassroots competitions. Now we are talking of a higher level, very probably professional or even high professional football.’
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham confirmed their interest in using sin bins back in November.
‘When we were looking at sin bins – protocol clearly has to be developed – the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it’s worked very, very well in the grassroots game in England,’ he said.