‘Blue card’ has Fifa seeing red

‘Blue card’ has Fifa seeing red

Chief of world football body opposed to proposal for a new kind of penalty

Matteo Guendouzi of Lazio reacts as referee Marco Di Bello shows him a red card in a Serie A match against AC Milan on Thursday in Rome. (Photo: Reuters)
Matteo Guendouzi of Lazio reacts as referee Marco Di Bello shows him a red card in a Serie A match against AC Milan on Thursday in Rome. (Photo: Reuters)

Fifa is opposed to a proposal by the International Football Association Board for a “blue card”, president Gianni Infantino says, adding he was unaware of the idea before it caught the public eye.

Football’s rule-making body has floated the idea of a “blue card”, which would give referees the power to send players off for 10 minutes for dissent or for committing fouls deemed to be cynical. It was discussed with Fifa at the annual general meeting of the IFAB in Scotland.

“There will not be any blue cards used at elite level. This is a topic that is non-existent for us,” Infantino told reporters on Friday, arriving at the IFAB meeting at Loch Lomond.

“Fifa is completely opposed to blue cards. I was not aware of this topic, as the president of Fifa. I think Fifa has a say in IFAB. If you want a headline, it is ‘red card to the blue card’.

“We are always open to look at ideas and proposals. But once you look at it, you also have to protect the essence and tradition of the game. There is no blue card.”

Premier League managers Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool and Ange Postecoglou of Tottenham Hotspur have also poured cold water on the idea.

The IFAB proposed that players shown blue cards would be sent to a “sin-bin” for 10 minutes, as part of a trial aimed at improving on-pitch behaviour.

At present, players shown a red card or two yellow cards are expelled for the rest of the game.

Sin bins have been used at grassroots level in England for dissent, but the trial could also include cynical fouls, which are rampant at the higher levels of the sport.

Klopp expressed concern that adding an extra card would make life even harder for referees.

“It’s a difficult job,” he said. “I think the introduction of a blue card would just give more opportunities to fail as well.”

Postecoglou said the plan could be another misstep by football authorities.

“My biggest issue with the game right now is that VAR has changed the experience, whether you’re a player, a manager or a supporter,” he said, referring to frequent controversies over the video-assisted referee.

“Beyond that, I don’t know why a different colour card is going to make any difference.”

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