Blue cards: Fifa president Gianni Infantino says 'no way' with idea set to be scrapped

Sat, Mar 2, 2024
By editor


GIANNI Infantino has ruled out the introduction of blue cards as part of a sin-bin trial, stating: “It is red card to the blue card.”

Football’s rule-makers are set to approve sin-bin trials, but an idea to use blue cards is likely to be ditched.

It is understood senior figures within the game were taken aback by the proposals of a blue card when it emerged last month.

“This is a topic that is non-existent for us,” Fifa president Infantino said.

Plans of a sin-bin trial are due to be discussed by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) – the game’s rule-making body – at its annual general meeting at Loch Lomond in Scotland on Saturday.

However, Infantino says the blue card plan is a non-starter.

“Fifa is completely opposed to blue cards. I was not aware of this topic, the president of Fifa – and I think Fifa has a say in Ifab. No way,” he said.

“We have to be serious. We are always open to look at ideas and proposals and everything has to be treated with respect of course.

“But once you look at it you also have to protect the essence and tradition of the game. There is no blue card.”

Caution was also expressed at which levels of the game the sin-bin trials might be applied.

Further discussion on the subject will take place at the meeting, although debate is more likely to centre around whether sin-bins should just be issued for dissent and not cynical fouls, which had been thought likely.

The Premier League has already distanced itself from any sin-bin trials with numerous managers, including Tottenham’s Ange Postecoglou, saying they were a terrible idea.

BBC Sport has been told the intention is to introduce them at much lower levels, although this will also be clarified at the Ifab meeting.

Discussion around ‘cooling off periods’ will also take place, with a press conference due to take place at around 13:00 GMT.

Infantino is expected in Scotland for the meeting, before going to watch the Scottish Premiership game between St Mirren and Aberdeen in the afternoon.

VAR is part of football’s future

VAR will also be discussed at the AGM, although that will centre around an extension of the current trial of referees confirming what decisions have been reached rather than any in-stadium access to real-time discussions in the VAR Hub.

“It will be difficult in a stadium to hear what is happening in the VAR booth,” said Infantino. “But explanation by referee is an important step in the right direction in explaining to the public and people in the stadium why he took a certain decision.

“VAR isn’t that old. It has made a lot of progress and will make more.”

Asked whether he still believed in the concept, Infantino said: “Very much so. You can’t imagine football anymore without VAR. Nobody can do that.”

Temporary concussion subs is ‘PR’

Infantino also rejected the idea of temporary concussion substitutes, which many feel would be a good way of dealing with head injuries amid concerns some players do not leave the pitch currently.

“We will not introduce temporary concussion subs because, we care about the health of the players and concussion is an important topic for us,” he said.

“We have invested a lot of money, £1.5m, in research. We have an expertise in this area now.

“And medical experts are saying it is simply impossible in a few minutes to be able to determine whether there has been a concussion and if it is serious, or not.

“That’s why, in case of a suspected concussion, the player has to be substituted. If you want to care about the health of the player, the players goes out and another player comes in. That’s the end of it.

“All the rest is not protecting the heads of players, just making some PR announcements.”


2nd March, 2024.