Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

Sin bins in football? Only captains to speak to refs? New ideas to be discussed by soccer’s rule-makers

Tottenham Hotspur players appeal to referee Lee Mason after Sunderland's Jack Rodwell (second right) tackled Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (floor) during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light last night
Tottenham Hotspur players appeal to referee Lee Mason after Sunderland's Jack Rodwell (second right) tackled Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (floor) during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light last night

Ben Rumsby

The introduction of sin-bins to football is to be discussed by the game’s rule-makers at their annual general meeting next month.

The International Football Association Board could also change the laws of the game to make only the captain able to speak to the referee and give the green light to the use of electronic devices such as tablets in the dugout to help identify serious head injuries.

All three amendments would emulate rules already in place in rugby union, which has long used sin-bins and bestowed a special status on the captain and which has recently reinforced its concussion protocols.

If agreed by IFAB stakeholders, which are the four British associations and Fifa, “temporary dismissals” would be adopted for certain offences in grassroots, youth, veterans and disability football only in the immediate future.

A decision would then be made at a future AGM whether to introduce it into the professional arena, something recently proposed by Marco van Basten, Fifa’s new chief officer for technical development.

Van Basten also called for only the captain to be able to speak to the referee in a bid to improve player behaviour, a rule change which could be made at the March 3 meeting at Wembley.

As could allowing the use of electronic devices.

The introduction of sin-bins, meanwhile, follows three years of experiments in Uefa’s development competitions.

Next year’s IFAB AGM is expected to ratify the use of video technology in the game in time for the World Cup, with trials having been sanctioned at the body’s meeting in Cardiff 12 months ago.

‘Live’ experiments will take place in almost 20 competitions around the world in 2017, with Germany’s Bundesliga having approved the use of so-called Video Assistant Referees next season.

As exclusively revealed by Telegraph Sport last year, the Premier League began secret non-live VAR trials at the start of the current campaign.

Telegraph.co.uk

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