World football governing body FIFA has dismissed recent reports suggesting the introduction of blue cards in major competitions for the upcoming season, contradicting claims of an imminent trial set to be announced this week.
According to The Telegraph, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) was expected to unveil plans for the introduction of blue cards into the sport, possibly commencing next season.
However, it was suggested that these cards would not be utilized in top-tier competitions but could feature in tournaments like the FA Cup and League Cup if the Football Association (FA) opts to include them as part of the trial.
Nevertheless, FIFA has rebuffed assertions that blue cards will not be implemented in elite-level competitions. In a statement released on Thursday, FIFA clarified: “FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature. 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 1 March.”
The proposed trial would empower referees to brandish blue cards for dissent and fouls aimed at halting promising attacks, resulting in a player’s temporary expulsion from the field for 10 minutes.
While blue cards have already been introduced in grassroots football in certain regions, their potential introduction to professional football signifies a broader incorporation of the ‘sin-bin’ regulation.
FIFA is slated to deliberate on the initiation of a blue card trial at the forthcoming annual general meeting in March.
However, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has already expressed reservations, asserting that such measures would detract from the essence of football, remarking, “It’s not football anymore.”
Source: graphic online