Football is all set to adapt to a new rule as it is getting ready to introduce a major change in the coming days after the International Football Association Board(IFAB) announced on Friday (Feb 8) the introduction of the blue card. The blue card is also set to replace the yellow card as the second-highest order of punishment.
The IFAB, football’s lawmakers body will trail the new concept which has been in use at the grassroots level for dissent but could be extended to cynical fouls. Already other sports are following a similar rule. Field hockey and rugby have long-standing rules of a player being temporarily suspended from the field of play for fouls based on the referee’s judgment of the severity of the infraction.
The Blue Card is already in use in a few amateur leagues in England and Wales, where the player who has been shown the blue card is suspended from play for 10 minutes. If the player picks up another blue card after returning from the suspension, they are shown a red card and dismissed from the match altogether.
How Blue Card system works?
Yellow and red cards were first introduced during the 1970 World Cup. Since then, the severity of the foul or breach of code or foul is only determined by a two-colored card system. A yellow card is issued for non-serious fouls or breaking the flow of play when the opposition team is in control of play, along with several other scenarios.
A red card is usually issued when a player is deemed to have made a serious injury-causing foul or denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity. A red card is also issued if he or she receives a second yellow card in the same match. Upon receiving a red card, the player is suspended from the remaining game.
With Blue Card, incidents that are serious but not in the territory of second yellow cards (resulting in a red card) or a player who shows dissent on the field could be issued a blue card. This will result in the player serving a 10-minute suspension and will return to the field post serving punishment.
As things stand, red cards remain the highest order of punishment which results in a one, three, or more match suspension for the player. Yellow cards remain the second-highest order of punishment and could result in a ban for the player after picking up several during the season. Blue cards are likely to replace yellow cards as the second-highest order of punishment as the player is temporarily sent off rather than being on the field despite receiving a card.
The Blue Card is still under trial, but can only be introduced when there is less criticism about the system. Already a lot of backlash at the start but was eventually accepted after a lot of criticism. The final decision will be taken next month at IFAB’s AGM.