A popular joke has emerged about a player being shown a blue card in the future and then having to wait, impatiently, to be released from the penalty box. I am clearly too mature to make such a joke.
Anyway, in lower leagues and cups, the IFAB – the association responsible for football rules – has decided that referees will have a blue card at their disposal, which sentences players who receive this card to a 10-minute suspension. The British call it the „sin bin,“ we call it the „penalty box“ – same difference.
The blue card will only be shown in specific instances, such as professional fouls and insults to officials.
The latter undoubtedly presents a growing problem, as players and managers, like all other segments of society, have become overly agitated in recent years when interacting with referees. The Turkish league had to be shut down after a referee was attacked on the field by a team manager. The Premier League has already set a record of yellow cards for dissent, with 14 games still remaining. Every week seems to bring a new story about an official being confronted in a parking lot or even physically assaulted, even by individuals not named Jose Mourinho. An increase in penalties for this behavior is likely warranted.