Football’s lawmakers are set to unveil trials for a new blue card system.
It is understood blue cards will be used to send offending players to a 10-minute sin-bin.
Full details of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) trial protocols are set to be published on Friday.
Sin-bins have been trialled successfully at grassroots level and are now set to be tested higher up the chain, though PA reported the initial trial phase will not feature top-level competitions in order to avoid players being in events with different rules concurrently.
However, it is understood the English Football Association is considering the possibility of trialling sin-bins in men’s and women’s FA Cups in the future.
How will blue cards work in football?
PA reported referees will use blue cards to indicate a player must go to the sin-bin.
They will be shown for two specific offences: dissent and tactical fouls, such as Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s tug on England's Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final.
Players will be ordered to go to the technical area for 10 minutes. If a player has already been booked, a blue card will mean they are sent off. Two blue cards will also result in dismissal.
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Meanwhile, as well as blue cards and sin-bins, competitions will have the option to trial "captain-only zones". These are to be used by referees when they feel threatened or intimidated and mean that once the zone has been created, only team captains should enter. A further trial is understood to centre on "cooling-off" periods, where a referee sends teams to their penalty areas to calm down after a mass confrontation, for example.
Another trial will look at a new approach to how long goalkeepers can handle the ball, and how play should restart when they hold on too long. Currently, goalkeepers can hold on for six seconds and anything over that is supposed to be penalised with an indirect free-kick, but lawmakers are concerned this is not being properly enforced.
Have your say on blue cards
The introduction of sin-bins and blue cards, should it reach the top level, would be one of the biggest developments in the game’s history, following on from the introduction of red and yellow cards at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
Do you think it would be a positive development? Have your say.