Blue Card Criticism Sees IFAB Scrap Their Proposed Trial

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Football lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, have a long history of infuriating fans with their ideas that would supposedly improve the game, and as we continue to struggle with the Video Assistant Referee, the other week they stepped up their efforts to introduce sin bins and blue cards.

Few fans could see why, as the laws are already there to deal with the exact issues IFAB were trying to address with their latest idea, but what they continue to ignore is the competence of officials and their own decision making.

Blue cards and temporarily sending players off the pitch for a period of 10 or 15 minutes would be just as open to misinterpretation (some fans would argue deliberate bias and favouritism) that aides certain sides in the English top flight when they need a hand the most.

It would not solve anything, it would simply add to the perceived bias that already exists and winds fans up no end, and last Friday FIFA president Gianni Infantino ruled the blue card idea out completely.

Both ideas, had in fact, already been roundly criticised by Premier League managers and fans alike, but IFAB have now attempted to couch their walk back as a potential misunderstanding. A statement released after their annual general meeting on Saturday stated.

“Any potential wider application will only be considered once the impact of these changes have been reviewed.”

Football Association chief executive, Mark Bullingham, who himself is a member of the IFAB board, added.

“It was never the intention for a trial to start in the Premier League. We’ve said, ‘let’s get the protocol right’ before we move it up the pyramid. We need to get it right away from the pressure of the cameras and the fans.”

They have now pivoted to three new trials at domestic competition levels below the top two tiers in the game. These tweaks now include:

Only a captain can approach the referee in certain situations.
The introduction of a cooling off period, where the referee can instruct sides to go to their own penalty box.
An increase in the six second rule for goalkeeper to hold the ball to eight, with a penalty of possession reverting to the other team if this new time limit it breached.

The dates of the new trials have not been decided.

The practical outcome of this is fans will likely agree with only a captain being able to speak to the referee, but what is the caveat ‘certain situations’ meant to mean?

The cooling off period is a joke, they aren’t three years old, we don’t need a mass naughty step in the game, again rules exist for this, just apply them properly, consistently and fairly and fans will be happy.

The goalkeeper change is again just tinkering for the sake of justifying their own existence.

Predictably, the handball rule has again been changed, and the only sensible topic of conversation right now – issues on concussions – will see a law come into play for additional permanent concussion substitutes, but rather predictably it is an opt in system based on individual competition organisers.

The phrase ‘they had one job’ comes to mind.

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