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Is Blue the new Yellow? IFAB Considers a Third Penalty Card

Liverpool Player Konate getting a red card, last week versus Arsenal. Source: Sky Sports and MSN

In the early hours of February 8, reports discussing a possible new card in football flooded the global sports media. Various articles, ranging from The Athletic to ESPN, reported that the International Football Association Board, also known as IFAB, was considering a brand new Blue card as punishment for players, and it could possibly be tried as soon as the following season. 

The news of the new card and its subsequent “sin bin” idea have been circulating the media since November of last year. This new blue card would act as a median between the existing yellow and red. 

With the introduction of new refereeing tools, like VAR, the majority of football fans can agree that red cards have become more common and sometimes used to punish plays made by players severely, they shouldn’t be taxed so heavily with a red, but also don’t seem like a yellow. 

Typically red cards are used as punishments in response to serious foul play, such as heavy tackles, purposefully trying to injure a player, preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity, hand balls and so on. What makes a red card so punishing is that it removes the player from the rest of the game, leaves their team with one less player, and can lead to a 2-3 game ban. Yellows, on the other hand, are used to mark dirty fouls, unsporting behavior and overall rule-breaking. If a player gets two yellows, it adds up to a red card.In addition, if a player gets a mix of a yellow and a blue, it would also add up to a red. Referees would also be allowed to use a blue card for player dissent towards referee personnel.

The latest card to be added to the sport is the yellow, being introduced in the 1970 edition of the World Cup. However, this new blue card could be trailed by the IFAB in British football competitions as soon as next season’s FA Cup. The blue card would be used to punish those plays where a red is too harsh and a yellow too little, and send the player off the pitch for 10 minutes to a so-called “sin bin.” 

This new card has already been tested in the lower leagues of British football and the amateur levels, providing some evidence that could deem it valuable and effective in its role. These trials have been taking place ever since the 2019-20 season. 

Following the vast media coverage of this news, the IFAB postponed any further information until their next Annual General Meeting, AGM, in March. Fifa, which also works alongside the IFAB to create the rules for the sport, released a statement late Thursday. In efforts to distance itself from the news, said, “FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” 

Clearing up the air on whether or not this new card would actually be implemented to elite level football next season, such as the Premier League.

Whether football fans are in total agreement with the possible introduction of “sin bins” and a new blue card, football is changing, and it’s changing fast.

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About the Contributor
Johan Garcia Rosales
Johan Garcia Rosales, Sports Writer
Hey I’m Johan, I’m one of the Sports writers in The Gallery. I’m Junior, and I enjoy expressing my ideas and thoughts through any outlet I can. I’m a Liverpool fan, I love photography and overall like to have a good time. 
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