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If a blue card could work for football, where else might it work?

Getting shown the blue card
Getting shown the blue card Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Jonny Walfisz
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Fever pitch! Football associations are considering testing a new blue card to deal with indiscipline and offences during matches.


Sacré blue! The International Football Association Board (Ifab) are going to trial adding a new card aimed at tackling badly behaved players. The new blue card will force players to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Everyone knows a red card means you’re in deep trouble, even outside of the world of football. In the game, if you’re shown a red card, it means you'll immediately take no more part in the match and can’t be replaced by another player. Serious stuff.

The yellow card is a warning to be careful and cautious. If you’re shown it, that means you’re guilty of a minor offence but commit a foul again and a second yellow card equals instant dismissal. 

The new blue card is somewhere in between. If a player makes a cynical foul or acts rudely, they could be shown the blue and be forced to sit in the sin-bin for 10 minutes. As  in rugby, the sin-bin is pretty much the bench of shame for players.

Blue cards are equivalent in strength to a yellow, so if a player receives two blues or a blue and a yellow card, they would receive a red card and be given their marching orders for an early shower. 

Cement Turpin shows a yellow card to PSG's Kylian Mbappe, during the French League One match between Paris Saint-Germain and Brest, Jan 28, 2024.
Cement Turpin shows a yellow card to PSG's Kylian Mbappe, during the French League One match between Paris Saint-Germain and Brest, Jan 28, 2024.Thibault Camus/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Bad behaviour on the rise

Ifab wants to bring in the blue card to tackle a rise in altercations on the pitch. It’s also believed that behaviour on the pitch is reflected in fans, and it's hoped the blue card will help quell hostilities among spectators and at grassroots games.

So far, the Premier League have confirmed that they won’t be involved in the initial trial and that the blue card will be tested at the lower level of the sport first.

It’s a great idea, as far as Euronews Culture is concerned. If nothing else, it’s made us think of all the other occasions in life when a sin-bin might be a handy thing.

Take an artist who’s committed to prolifically releasing work only for it to suffer due to high-output. Ridley Scott is a workhorse director famed for making tons of films that are sometimes sublime but also regularly turgid. Maybe a little time in the sin-bin after each bad film would make him pick his next project a little more carefully.

Then there are all the public guffs that celebs make and then double-down on due to the spotlight.

Remember when rapper Nicki Minaj made that ill-informed Tweet about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad’s testicles swelling up as a result of the vaccine. Imagine if someone had shown Minaj the blue card and forced her to sit out of the public spotlight instead of her then-descent into fully blown anti-vaxxer nutjob.

Of course, anyone who does something egregiously wrong still deserves to be criticised and shunned by the public, but it’s these smaller mistakes that the blue card could come in handy, excuse the pun, for the culture sector. Who'll be the judge? Let's the court of public opinion decide! In the attention economy, many stars fall off the cliff of sensibility when they meet resistance to their silly comments. Instead of the tried-and-failed double-down, why not use the time for some inner reflection and glorious, under-estimate silence in sin-bin.

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