A blue card for dissent or cynical fouls will reportedly force teams into a difficult choice – make a permanent substitution or hand the gloves to an unsuspecting outfield player for ten agonising minutes.
According to the Telegraph, managers will be exempt from the blue cards, but it could provide a new source of headache for the coaching staff.
If a goalkeeper is carded, managers must decide if an outfield player will step in as a makeshift shot-stopper or whether to make a permanent switch, leaving the team vulnerable elsewhere.
Intriguingly, unlike yellow and red cards, blue cards will likely operate outside the eye of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
There have been debates about whether VAR will be granted the power to intervene in sin-bin decisions.
The initial panic surrounding the blue card led them to delay releasing the official protocols.
Further revisions and discussions are expected before the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) annual meeting next month.
The 2024/25 season could be riddled with controversial moments.
Adding a third card only creates more ambiguity and inconsistency in officiating. Referees are already under incredible pressure and there will likely be inconsistencies.
Players and managers could face a new and complex tactical situation where they might have to sacrifice attacking intent for temporary goalkeeping solutions.
The blue card risks will further undermining the flow and spirit of the game, turning it into a tactical experiment.
The existing yellow and red systems, backed by VAR, already address dissent and fouls.
Instead of changing these established mechanisms, football’s governing bodies must focus on allowing pure skill and passion to shine through.
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