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Will dissenting players see blue? – Reading Today Online

Referee Picture: Pixabay

When I saw the announcement that a third card is likely to be used by referees, it reminded me of the days when we had our own referees training team in Reading.

As an aid to classifying challenges we showed videos of actual games with tackles being made. In fact we used four cards.

Red of course if the trainees thought it was a sending off offence, yellow for a cautionable offence, and then two different cards. Blue if they thought that a free kick was enough punishment, and a green card if they didn’t think it was even a foul.

The blue card said to be under discussion at the AGM in March of the games lawmakers IFAB, is something entirely different. It is suggested that it should be used to indicate that a player is being punished by a temporary dismissal, or in more common language, the Sin Bin.

Those football fans who only support professional football, will not have seen this in operation, but sin bins have been in use in lower sections of the game since 2017.

This is not universal, but an option for national Football Associations to use for a limited number of inappropriate behaviour offences. Also, in countries where it is in use, the equivalents of our FA can decide which of these offences they will use for Sin Bins.

In this country the FA has stipulated that it can be used only for dissent. So if a player chooses to dispute a referee’s decision, verbally or by gestures, they can be temporarily dismissed for 10 minutes (or 10% – 15% of the total playing time), after which they can return to the game.

If however they should show further dissent, they will serve another dismissal and not be allowed to return.

One of the difficulties has been that the signal for a temporary dismissal, is a yellow card, which is of course the same as a caution. This can cause confusion, although there is a second signal that should be used. Referees are told to clearly point with both arms to the temporary dismissal area.

The use of a blue card will make this clearer.

Separately as I understand it, it is also the intention to use temporary dismissal in some competitions which are in a higher level than before, but I don’t expect it to reach as high as Football League matches.

By Dick Sawdon Smith

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