Blue cards, sin-bins will destroy game – Postecoglou

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Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou expresses concern that the potential implementation of blue cards and sin-bins could ‘ruin’ the essence of the sport.

Ifab, the governing body of football, postponed the release of details regarding four proposed trials following discussions with the global governing body Fifa.

According to these plans, players would receive blue cards for dissent and tactical fouls, resulting in a mandatory 10-minute spell off the pitch.

“Adding another [card] one. What is that going to do? The remedy is already there,” said Postecoglou.

“If it’s not being enforced to the level people are satisfied, do that. That’s the change. One team being down to 10 men for 10 minutes, you know what that is going to do to our game? It’s going to destroy it.

“You’ll have one team sitting there trying to waste time for 10 minutes waiting for someone to come back on. Every other game is trying to speed up and declutter, all we are trying to do is go the other way for some bizarre reason.”

If incorporated into the rules of the game, the addition of a blue card would represent the most significant alteration in player discipline management since the introduction of red and yellow cards during the 1970 World Cup.

However, the outspoken opinions of the Australian manager were mirrored by Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, indicating a lack of enthusiasm for the proposals among Premier League managers.

“It doesn’t sound like a fantastic idea in the first moment. But actually, I can’t remember when the last fantastic idea came from these guys [Ifab] – if they ever had one,” Klopp said.

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, added: “I’m not a big fan, to be honest. I think that’s what yellow cards are for. I think the current system works well, it’s just got to be applied right.

“Adding a blue card would just add more confusion, in my opinion. I’m against it. I think [sin-bins] would change it a lot, but again not, for me, in a good way because I think it will make it very bitty, more stop-start.”

Speaking earlier, Postecoglou also questioned the motivation to introduce new rules: “I struggle to understand why there is this urgency all of a sudden to bring in new things. I don’t know if there’s much wrong with the game as I see it and why a different colour card will make any difference.”

Fifa responded to multiple stories on Thursday, some of which raised the potential for the trials to involve elite football, with a public statement urging caution.

It is understood that the four trials will persist following additional deliberation instigated by Fifa. However, it has been decided that the precise details will not be confirmed until a media conference immediately after Ifab’s annual meeting at Loch Lomond on 2 March to allow for further discussion.

Fifa occupies four out of the eight seats at Ifab, with the remaining four held by the home nations. President Gianni Infantino has previously attended Ifab annual meetings, but in his absence, another senior official from the organization will be present.

While sin-bins have been utilized at grassroots level for dissent, their application could be expanded to include cynical fouls as part of a trial.