Football lawmakers back sin bin trial

Football lawmakers back sin bin trial

LONDON – Football’s lawmakers have recommended the trialling of sin bins in the professional game as part of a groundbreaking bid to clamp down on player misbehaviour.

Temporary dismissals of players for offences such as dissent and tactical fouls were backed by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) at its annual business meeting in London on Nov 28.

Sin bins were introduced at grassroots level in England in 2019 in an attempt to improve levels of respect and fair play.

Ifab board members also supported a proposed trial that would mean only the team captain could approach the referee in certain game situations.

Proposals will be considered at the organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Glasgow in March.

Ifab board member Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the English Football Association, said: “When we were looking at sin bins – and protocol clearly has to be developed – the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it’s worked very well in the grassroots game in England.

“We’ve also spoken about other areas, particularly tactical fouls.

“I think frustration for fans watching games when they see a promising counter-attack that’s ruined by that, and the question of whether a yellow card is sufficient for that, has led to us looking at whether that should be involved in the protocol as well.”

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the Fifa referees committee, who sits on the Ifab’s technical sub-committee, said the proposed trials would “very probably” involve professional football.

Subject to approval at the AGM in March, they could begin as early as next season.

“The trial was very successful in a grassroots competition,” he said. “Now we are talking of a higher level, very probably professional or even high professional football.

“We need to draft something that works or is worthy for top football.”

Former Chelsea and England centre-back John Terry said on X he did not like the idea of sin bins because he felt “the level of tolerance and inconsistencies from referees will differ every week” – especially as dissent is fairly subjective.

Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, said he was previously “not a fan of sin bins” but feels it could be an “in-between” solution for fouls that are not clear yellows or reds.

“A couple of instances this season where something feels more than a yellow but a red feels harsh are Marcus Rashford and Curtis Jones,” he wrote.

“Also a lot of people were not happy with yellow for (Kai) Havertz and (Bruno]) Guimaraes but I wouldn’t want red for those so the yellow card could be the sin bin.” AFP, REUTERS

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