Sports

Ange unloads on soccer’s plan for blue cards

The Australian added: “As a fan of the game, I’ve always loved the fact that for the most part our game has remained untouched from my 40 years’ experience in it.

“There have been some rule changes. I remember when I was playing I could pass it back to my goalkeeper and he could pick it up and throw it back to me and I’d pass it back to him and he’d pick it up again.

Soccer is examining the addition of a sin-bin style blue card to its yellow and red cards.Credit: Getty

“You know what? They changed it. Why? Because they didn’t want to see the game slowing down, so it was a good decision. Let’s go with it and I don’t think anyone has complained about it.

“Other than that, there haven’t been too many shifts, but all of a sudden we’ve seen such a major transformation.

“We’ve let technology in the door, we know that’s going to affect it. Let’s just see how that plays out before we start thinking about other significant changes.”

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Postecoglou has been a critic of VAR and added: “I struggle to understand why this urgency all of a sudden to bring in new things. I don’t know if there’s that much wrong with the game as I see it.”

Unrest over Friday’s planned announcement was underlined on Thursday night by a statement from FIFA which confirmed the disclosure that initial sin-bin trials would not take place in the Premier League or other top-tier competitions.

The statement went on to say that the introduction of a blue card at a lower level would be discussed at the annual general meeting of IFAB, the game’s law-making body on which FIFA sits along with the four home associations, next month.

IFAB approved the first sin-bin trials – with players spending 10 minutes in the technical area if they receive a blue card for dissent or a cynical foul – at professional level at its annual business meeting in November.

The precise protocol those trials would follow had been due to be announced on Friday and the delay could now mean those being subject to further revision.

FIFA’s issuing of a statement on an IFAB matter also raised questions about which of the bodies was really in control of changes to the laws of the game.

Klopp voiced his opposition to the blue card proposal by saying: “The introduction of a new card would just give more opportunities to fail because the discussion then would be, ‘Should it have been a blue card, or a yellow card?’

“It does not sound like a fantastic idea but I can’t remember when the last fantastic idea came from these guys, [or] if they ever had one.”

Arteta questioned whether soccer was “ready” for such a move, while Pochettino said: “I think it is going to create more divides, be more complicated to the referees, the players and the fans. My feeling now is that it’s not a good idea but we’ll see what happens.”

Howe added: “I’m not a big fan to be honest; that’s what yellow cards are for. The current system works well; it just has to be applied right. Adding a blue card would just add more confusion in my opinion so I’m against it.”

Telegraph, London

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