Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino has led Premier League head coaches in speaking out against the idea of blue cards being introduced to football, which would see players spend 10 minutes in the sin bin after a new trial was approved. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will soon publish detailed protocols for the trials and reports suggest that the new ruling is expected to include blue cards.
In the trials, blue cards will give referees the ability to send players off for 10 minutes for dissent or cynical fouls. Two blue cards would result in a red card, as would a blue and a yellow card combined.
There have already been such trials in amateur and youth football in both England and Wales, with IFAB set to give the green light for an extended trial in senior levels of football at the board’s annual meeting on March 2 in Glasgow.
FIFA have already played down the suggestion that this trial will incorporate top-flight football, but the FA Cup could be involved in what would be one of the biggest changes to football since red and yellow cards were introduced in 1970.
But Pochettino believes that “it is not a good idea” and that football will only become more “complicated” as a result of further change by IFAB.
“Difficult to express how I feel about the blue card,” Pochettino said. “Difficult to explain. At the moment, we don’t have much information about that. That is going to create more debate. It is going to be more complicated. At the moment, my feeling now is it is not a good idea but we will see what happens.”
While Klopp felt that it didn’t “sound like a fantastic idea” but was not against the idea of further testing in the game. “We should keep it as simple as possible for referees,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It just makes it more complicated. I have no problem with testing, but doesn’t sound like a fantastic idea.”
It was a sentiment shared by Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, who felt that the current system only needs to be optimised. “I’m not a big fan to be honest. That’s what yellow cards are for,” Howe said. “The current system works well but just needs to be applied right. A blue card would just add more confusion, in my opinion.”
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou felt that an additional card while still working out the kinks would just bring more “clutter” to football. “I struggle to understand why this urgency suddenly to bring in new things,” the Aussie said.
“I don’t know if there’s that much wrong with the game. My issue with the game right now is that VAR has changed football as an experience. I don’t know why a different colour card is going to make a difference. 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.”
Mikel Arteta admitted that he wasn’t sure “if we are ready for that yet” while Pep Guardiola refused to comment before the trial is confirmed by IFAB: “I have no comments on potential introduction of blue cards. Maybe I have an opinion if and when they are introduced.”