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IFAB to trial 10-minute ‘sin bins’ in professional football

Orange cards

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-MAN CITY Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), keepers of the laws of the beautiful game, have agreed to develop protocols for trialing 10-minute “sin bins” in professional football. The decision was reached at their annual meeting on Tuesday, with the organization’s next meeting, in March, expected to take the resulting proposal under debate and consideration.

Sin bins are already used in grassroots football in England, but could certainly have an application in the top tiers as well, in situations where a yellow card is not punishment enough, but a red card would be far too harsh — so instead you get a 10-minute time out, with your team down a player during that period as well.

“When we were looking at sin bins — protocol clearly has to be developed — the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it’s worked very, very well in the grassroots game in England. We’ve also spoken about other areas, particularly tactical fouls.

“[...] The starting point was looking at player behaviour and dissent — we’re then looking at whether we should extend it into other areas, such as tactical fouls, as well.”

-Mark Bullingham, IFAB board member and English FA CEO; source: Sky

This might be a pretty radical idea, but that’s how innovation works. Allowing for five substitutes or for utilizing semi-automated offside have been welcome changes to the game in recent years, for example. Maybe “sin bins” will be next.

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