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FIFA labels ‘blue card’ in elite game reports as “incorrect”

Claim: Multiple media reports say that the footballing body, FIFA, will introduce a “blue card” in the elite game to punish players for “cynical foul or dissent.”

Verdict: False. FIFA has slammed the reports as “incorrect and premature” in a post shared on X (formerly Twitter) on Feb. 8, 2024.

Full Text

There are media reports that FIFA, the world football body, is set to introduce a new rule that will see referees use “blue cards” for the first time in the history of the elite game. See media reports here, here, here, and here.

The Mirror in the UK reported that the:

“News leaked on Thursday that the International Football Association Board (IFAB) were about to announce the introduction of blue cards, which would mean 10-minute sin bins for dissent and cynical fouls.”

The Bleacher Report Football reported on Feb. 8, 2024, that:

“Blue cards and sin-bins will be trialled in football, per Telegraph Football. Players will be removed from the pitch for 10 minutes for cynical fouls and dissent.”

Reactions on social media were instantaneous.

“FIFA is set to introduce [the] blue card in professional football, and it will be official on Friday. Any player who is given a blue card by the referee will be temporarily removed from the pitch for 10 minutes,” a Facebook user wrote.

Another Facebook user shared on Feb. 8, 2024, that:

“FIFA to announce a new rule “blue card” football tomorrow [Feb. 9, 2024]. The new card will see players removed from the field for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent.”

Also, reacting to reports about the alleged introduction of the blue card in the professional game, German international Mesut Ozil took a swipe at Spanish side Atletico Madrid when he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that:

“So, Atletico Madrid will only play with 6 players then?”

The Real Madrid legend’s dig at the former rival has been reported by international media organisations such as UK’s The Sun, Goal, Beinsports, Tribuna and Dailystar.

How does the blue card work?

According to multiple reports, including NotJustOk, the blue card will be issued to players that stop a promising attack from their opponents.” Also, it will be used to punish players for “dissent,” the Mirror has explained.

It will also confirm whether players “should be shown a red card if they receive two blue cards during a match or a combination of yellow and blue.”

The Mirror reports that the use of sin bins is not a new idea. “Sin bins were piloted by the Football Association in the 2018/19 season across 31 leagues and returned promising results, with a 38 per cent reduction in dissent.”

Verification

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has described reports about the alleged introduction of the blue card in the elite game as “incorrect and premature.”

“FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” the footballing body wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Feb. 8, 2024.

FIFA did not, however, rule out the possible use of the new rule at the lower level to control dissent and cynical behaviour. 

Nonetheless, the world football body was clear when it said that:

“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 2 March.”

Also, the international media organisations that reported on the alleged introduction of the blue cards have published stories about FIFA’s disclaimer.

The Goal.com reported on Feb. 8, 2024, that:

“FIFA has denied that blue cards will be introduced to major competitions next season, despite a report claiming a trial will be announced this week.”

Also, the Mirror reported on Feb. 9, 2024, that:

“Football’s lawmakers have pushed back their announcement of blue cards after being caught off guard by the strength of the backlash.”

The Times of Swaziland reported on Feb. 10, 2024, that:

“Despite earlier reports suggesting a trial would be announced this week, FIFA has denied that blue cards will be introduced to major competitions next season.”

Conclusion:

FIFA has said it has no intention to introduce the blue card at the elite levels. However, it suggests the new rule should be tested in a “responsible manner at lower levels.”

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