Proposals for a new blue card to be introduced in football next season caught the headlines, but not all fans were on board with the decision to implement yet another change to refereeing protocols.
The blue card – which would become the first new card added in over 50 years – will be shown to players for cynical fouls or dissent, and will see them sent to a 10-minute sin bin.
Receiving a blue and a yellow, or two blues, will have the same result as two yellows, and see players sent off.
The announcement caused quite the stir in football, with a number of supporters left baffled by the decision as well as a number of current Premier League managers having voiced their disagreement with the move in the past.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) are due to publish their protocols on Friday, and FA sources indicate it could be trialled in the FA Cup — and other competitions such as the FA Trophy and FA Vase — as soon as next season if they agree with IFAB’s parameters.
A new blue card has been announced – sending players into a sin bin for 10 minutes – with protocols set to be published by IFAB on Friday
The new punishment would be awarded for dissent or cynical fouls with teams temporarily reduced to 10
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Premier League insiders on Thursday played down its potential introduction into their competition any time soon, though they will monitor the trial closely.
It is already proving to be a divisive topic and mark one of the more significant changes to refereeing since the introduction of VAR, and Mail Sport readers have been quick to voice their own opinions.
Many were far from pleased with the proposed blue cards, with one reader writing: ‘Rules already exist to deal with dissent, we don’t need more!!’
The sentiment was shared by another, who said: ‘It is just going to add to the controversies. Some referees will show blue for certain incidents other referees may not show blue for the same offenses.
‘Once again it will come down to which team and which players are committing the offense. The inconsistency and bias in applying the rules need to be addressed and sorted out. Blue cards is not a solution to the current problem.’
Others suggested that it would further hamper the fan experience, one reader adding: ‘I wish they would just leave the game alone. Fans have paid to watch 11 v 11. If sin bins are used the team with 10 will just sit deep and defend, it will spoil the game. What if it’s the goalkeeper? Does an outfield player have to go in goal for 10 minutes?
Another agreed, saying: ‘So, we will all need to set aside five hours to watch a game at a stadium, or at home. This will slow the game down even more than VAR has. Go back to one referee and two linesmen. They will make errors, but games will end within two hours of kick-off.’
Some Mail Sport readers felt that the proposed blue card was a step in the wrong direction
Some fans claimed that new punishments for dissent were not needed to be introduced
One felt it was another step towards the ‘over-complication’ of football, writing: Utter nonsense, yet another nail in the coffin of a simple game that has become over-complicated by stupid rule changes.
‘The people in charge of what used to be referred to as the beautiful game seem to be hell-bent on ruining it at such a rate that it will be almost unrecognisable within a generation or so up from the game I loved playing and watching in the early 1970s.
‘It is mind-boggling why a rotten group of self-interested bureaucrats have been able to destroy football.’
But it was not all negative reaction to the news that the card could be introduced, pending approval on Friday.
Many fans drew comparisons with the effective implementation of a sin bin in rugby, with some of the opinion that it was about time football did likewise.
One Mail Sport reader wrote: ‘I’ve long thought that the rugby sin bin rules should be adopted by football plus I also think that they should adopt the stopping of the clock when play stops for injuries etc instead of relying on referee plus a claxon sound indicating 90 mins up.’
A like-minded reader added: ’10 minute sin bin works well in rugby union. Surprised it’s taken so long introducing it to football.’
Another pointed to the fact that a blue card could be used for infringements deemed not serious enough to warrant a booking, saying: ‘Good idea, plenty of times you see a player booked and then he causes another foul but doesn’t get booked again because he would have to be sent off and the referee doesn’t want that.
‘It would also be a good idea for time wasters, especially goal keepers, then an outfield player would have to go into goal for ten minutes or so.’
Others, meanwhile, were in favour of the move and draw comparisons to the effective implementation of sin bins in rugby
Some Mail Sport readers pointed to the fact that some cynical fouls can deny clear goal scoring opportunities
For one reader it represented a good way to crack down on cynical challenges that can rule out genuine goal scoring chances, stating: ‘It’s a great idea. Every now and then a player commits a deliberate foul which they call “taking one for the team” usually done to stop a fast moving counter attack.
‘A defending player will deliberately foul an attacking player to stop the counter attack and only receive a yellow card which is pretty cheap if it stops an almost certain goal. A blue card and being removed from the pitch for 10 minutes would stop this.’
For one it represented a step in the right direction, but there are still other wrinkles to iron out before the game to become ‘watchable’ again: ‘Brilliant. At last. The game has been crying out for this for years. Sin bin to allow players to cool off is a huge step forward.
‘Now just put the offside rule back where it should be – clear daylight – and perhaps the game will be watchable again.’