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Report: Soccer lawmakers delay blue cards after backlash

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The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has delayed its top-level trials of blue cards and sin bins following backlash to the lawmakers' plans, according to The Telegraph's Ben Rumsby.

The IFAB planned to announce its upcoming tests in professional football on Friday. The trials could've reportedly begun as early as the summer, with the English Football Association considering volunteering the women's and men's FA Cups as testing grounds.

A referee brandishing a blue card was intended to signal 10 minutes in the sin bin for players who committed cynical fouls or showed dissent toward a match official. Sin bins were apparently successfully trialed in amateur and youth football in England and Wales, with yellow cards used to indicate the punishment. The IFAB announced its intention to introduce sin bins at higher levels of football last November, Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol reported on Thursday.

However, the addition of blue cards shocked the football community.

FIFA, world football's governing body, was among the many voices in the sport to speak out against the IFAB's plans. The organization said it would only entertain further trials below soccer's leading competitions.

"FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called 'blue card' at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature," read the statement posted on X.

"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."

Premier League managers were asked about their thoughts on blue cards ahead of the weekend fixtures, with Tottenham Hotspur's Ange Postecoglou and Chelsea's Mauricio Pochettino among the prominent names speaking out against the IFAB's idea.

"I don't know why a different color card is going to make a difference," Postecoglou said, according to Football London's Lee Wilmot. "I don't know about this taking things from other sports. Other sports are trying to make their games faster, we're bringing in more clutter."

Former England striker Chris Sutton, now a prominent pundit for BBC Sport, criticized the IFAB for "complicating the game even more" with its latest initiative and prioritizing it ahead of issues such as the "outdated head injury protocol."

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