The introduction of a blue card into football has been thrown into doubt amid a growing backlash against the move.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport, an announcement had been planned on Friday for the game’s first new card for more than half a century as part of sin-bin trials at professional level.
But following an extraordinary reaction to the news – including from within football’s corridors of power – those announcement plans have been blocked.
Unrest within the game was underlined on Thursday night by a statement from Fifa which confirmed the disclosure by the Telegraph that initial sin-bin trials would not include top-tier competitions.
The statement went on to say that the introduction of a blue card at any level would be discussed at the annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board (Ifab) next month.
Ifab, the game’s law-making body on which Fifa sits along with the four home associations, approved the first sin-bin trials at professional level at its annual business meeting in November.
The precise protocol those trials would follow had been due to be announced on Friday and the delay could now mean those are subject to further revision.
Fifa’s issuing of a statement on an Ifab matter also raises questions about which of the bodies is really in control of changes to the laws of the game.
‘Yellow cards just need to be applied right’
On Friday Eddie Howe became the first Premier League manager to oppose the introduction of a blue card to football by warning it would “just add more confusion”.
The Newcastle United manager said: “I’m not a big fan to be honest; that’s what yellow cards are for. The current system works well; it just has to be applied right. Adding a blue card would just add more confusion in my opinion so I’m against it.”
Howe joined former Premier League stars Chris Sutton and Jamie O’Hara in voicing his opposition to the move.
Sutton posted on X: “Well done IFAB for complicating the game even more and prioritising a blue card over the outdated head injury protocol which doesn’t put players first…”
O’Hara, meanwhile, wrote: “The game has absolutely gone.”
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