Blue cards could soon be introduced in the Premier League after the announcement that The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is considering the introduction of a new punishment.
The new colour cards would bring sin-bins into elite level football, with players sent for a temporary 10 minute time-out for dissent and cynical fouls. IFAB are set to trial blue cards in the near future, after successful implementation at grassroots level.
FIFA have released a statement to confirm the introduction of blue cards is ‘premature’ but suggested further discussions will take place over trial periods, which are expected to last 12 months.
“FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” the sport’s governing body said in a statement.
“Any such trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels, a position that FIFA intends to reiterate when this agenda item is discussed at the IFAB AGM on 1 March.”
Sin-bins could have a whole host of Premier League players fearing the worst and we’ve looked at the stars who could be most impacted.
Blue cards will aim to stop tactical fouls, with players punished for cynical challenges such as blatant prevention of counter-attacks. Opta data has shown that Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher has been the guiltiest culprit of cynicism in recent months, having been booked nine times for tactical fouls since the start of last season.
Chelsea teammate Moises Caicedo ranks joint-second with eight, alongside Manchester City’s Rodri. Liverpool duo Ibrahima Konate and Alexis Mac Allister, and Aston Villa anchor Boubacar Kamara, have all been penalised for tactical fouls on seven occasions.
Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes would need to improve on his conduct towards match officials, with the Portugal international the joint-leader for dissent offences in 2023/24 to date.
Fernandes has been booked four times for back-chat to referees this season, an unwanted record he shares with Chelsea forward Nicolas Jackson and Fulham playmaker Andreas Pereira.
Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto and Fernandes has each been cautioned six times for dissent since the start of last season.