Blue Cards Are Quickly Put In The Sin Bin

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As if we have not had enough changes in football in more recent years, the latest grand idea from the International Football Association Board is to suggest introducing ‘blue cards’ to the game for both dissent, and cynical professional fouls.

A blue card would see a player removed from the pitch for a period of ten minutes by the match day referee, and they would spend that ten minutes in the technical area ie a sin bin.

The idea has already been trialled at grass roots level for dissent, but it seems to have been so well thought out that this will be the new Video Assistant Referee technology, that is anything but an advance via technology.

As stated, the blue card would replace the yellow are red card for dissent and professional fouls, and we are again into the totally random interpretation of referees. As the proposal stands, it is widely open to bias criticism which in game improvements are naturally supposed to remove.

VAR has not, we have all seen that for ourselves where top teams still get decisions mostly in their favour based on the smallest detail that it takes 25 minutes to find. If a blue card for a cynical, professional foul is a future option, how often will a referee take it whilst under pressure when a defender is the last man?

How many times have we seen another player 50 yards away deemed to be a second man anyway that removes the red card option?

Thankfully the Premier League have already stated that they will not be part of any professional trial, and FIFA have also distanced themselves from trials being held at elite levels as being ‘premature’. But much like VAR, we all know it is coming soon and we all know it will simply achieve the square root of adding even more stupidity to a game that used to be about passion, fairness and in the moment emotions.

Imagine a future system where VAR takes ten minutes to decide the outcome they prefer, with an added minute or two of a blue card being shown, and some sides now definitely do not get the advantage they potentially deserve.

Would it not be far cheaper, far more plausible, already within the rules of the game and just simpler to actually get VAR right.

A clear technical foul on a counter attack becomes a red card offence because of the intent of ‘taking a yellow card for the team’.

Would it solve the bias, no. But it might make players think twice in a way a blue card would not.

After all, if we are talking true dissent and punishing it – is a referee really going to send six or seven players off the pitch for ten minutes when the overpaid ego driven entitled feel a decision went the wrong way?

I think not, so take cynical fouls out of it, and it is still an absolutely redundant idea.

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