Blue cards, ‘sin bins’ eyed by soccer’s rule-making panel

NBC Sports Bay Area

Soccer’s rule-making panel will discuss punishing certain fouls by sending players off the field for set periods of time — like in rugby and ice hockey — with referees issuing blue cards.

FIFA said Thursday that any such trials would only take place at the lower levels of the sport, and that the topic would be discussed early next month at the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board.

“Sin bins” were introduced across all levels of grassroots soccer in the 2019-20 season in a bid to reduce dissent and increase fair play.

British media reports Thursday said use of the sin bins could be extended to include tactical fouls — like when a player takes down an opponent to stop a counterattack.

“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 (annual general meeting) on 2 March,” FIFA said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

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