Soccer

IFAB keen to introduce sin bins for professional football after grassroots trial

Mark Bullingham during the 137th IFAB AGM (Aaron Chown/PA)
Mark Bullingham during the 137th IFAB AGM (Aaron Chown/PA) Mark Bullingham during the 137th IFAB AGM (Aaron Chown/PA)

Sin bins should be trialled at higher levels of football following their successful implementation in the grassroots game, the sport’s lawmaking body has agreed.

Temporary dismissals of players for offences such as dissent and specific tactical fouls were backed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at its annual business meeting.

IFAB board members also supported a proposed trial whereby only the team captain may approach the referee in certain major game situations.

Tuesday’s meeting in London will shape the agenda for the organisation’s annual general meeting, which will be held on March 2 in Glasgow, where any proposed changes to the laws of the game will be considered for approval.

Protocols and a system for trialling will now be developed.

Board member Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the Football Association, said: “When we were looking at sin bins – protocol clearly has to be developed – the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it’s worked very, very well in the grassroots game in England.

“We’ve also spoken about other areas, particularly tactical fouls.

“I think frustration for fans watching games when they see a promising counter-attack that’s ruined by that and the question of whether a yellow card is sufficient for that has led to us looking at whether that should be involved in the protocol as well.

“The starting point was looking at player behaviour and dissent – we’re then looking at whether we should extend it into other areas, such as tactical fouls, as well.”

Sin bins were introduced across all levels of grassroots football from the 2019-20 season in an attempt to to improve levels of respect and fair play in the game.

The rule change was implemented up to step five of the National League system and tier three and below in women’s football.