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Rules – The FIFA President shows the “Blue Card” in red

Rules – The FIFA President shows the “Blue Card” in red

The dispute was over before it really started. Following the Speech of Authority issued by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has temporarily suspended the introduction of the Blue Card as a reference to time penalties in professional football.

As the Rules Committee announced on Saturday after its meeting in Glasgow, developments in youth and amateur football must first be monitored before each trial phase in the higher leagues. It was decided to test runs against beam formations.

Infantino: “Red card versus blue card”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) actually wanted to vote on a trial phase for the Blue Card in the FA Cup. Infantino categorically rejected this. “There will be no blue card at the top level. This issue does not exist for us,” Infantino told reporters in Glasgow. Infantino said he had no knowledge of the issue before it was discussed publicly in media reports in recent weeks. “If you want a headline, it's a red card versus a blue card,” the Swiss said.

Controversial idea

FIFA has four votes out of eight in the committee and therefore has the option of rejecting all proposed regulations. Other members are representatives of the football associations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The idea of ​​the blue card, which is accompanied by a mandatory ten-minute break, has already raised critical voices. Famous coaches in the English Premier League, as well as coaches from the Austrian League, have sometimes expressed great doubts about the feasibility of this.

Infantino did not attend the press conference that followed the meeting on Saturday. Interim Secretary General Matthias Grafström sat at the FIFA podium. The Swede was also appointed as the new Chairman of the FIFA Board of Directors, representing a further gain in power for the Infantino confidant.

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New beam formation reaction

Grafstrom has announced further tests of the rules, which can now begin in all competitions below the top two national leagues. Referees are given the opportunity to send both teams to their penalty area in order to “cool down” after heated situations or group formations. In difficult situations, captains are only allowed to speak to the referee based on the referee's signal – otherwise there will be personal penalties, at least a yellow card.

In the future, goalkeepers will be allowed to keep the ball in their hands for eight seconds before the start of the match, but no longer than that under any circumstances. Referees must indicate the expiration of the time limit by visually counting down. According to Grafstrom, these rules should be tried out at the Olympic football tournament in Paris this summer. However, these innovations cannot be permanently incorporated into regulations before summer 2025.

The testing phase has been extended to announce decisions based on video evidence. It must be tested in other competitions before it becomes mandatory.