Football’s rule makers caused a stir yesterday as reports emerged there were plans in place to introduce a sin-bin into football’s elite competitions in the near future.

Closer to home, the concept of the ‘Sin-Bin’ isn’t foreign to people playing in the lower leagues of Merseyside.

Fans of the North-West Counties Football League have become familiar with referees giving out orange cards.

FC St Helens centre-back Nathan Carnell recently experienced what it is like to watch a game from the bin.

He said: “From a players perspective, it’s really frustrating to just sit there and watch your team play knowing you can’t do anything to help them.

“It messes with your head, you’re just like itching to get back on, it really winds you up and when you do get on, for me anyway I just wanted to hit the first person I saw, it was like an adrenaline thing.”

Nathan Carnell
Nathan Carnell – Picture by Mark Gambles

The reports emerged via The Telegraph that football’s governing body FIFA are planning to introduce blue cards as early as the upcoming 2024/25 season.

It states although the cards would not be used in any top tier competition to begin with, it would be used in other competitions like the FA Cup and the Women’s FA Cup in order to test their readiness for the elite tournaments.

It’s not just the players who aren’t convinced about the potential introduction of blue cards into the sport. Merseyside-based referee Matthew Saxby isn’t sure now is the right time for such a drastic change to the footballing landscape.

He said: “With the lack of consistency we are seeing at the top level already with yellow and red cards, I think it is too early to throw another one into the mix. It would just cause more issues for referees who already get abused a lot.”

Saxby, who has only been a referee for two years does however see a potential future for the introduction of the controversial card at some point down the line.

He said: “I personally think the concept behind introducing the blue card could be a good move, if it’s used correctly.”

FIFA have released a statement hours after the report by The Telegraph was released, denying the rumours:

Despite the denial of the rumours, just the speculation was enough to create a conversation surrounding something that could potentially impact the future of football as we know it, what do you think about the potential of a blue card being introduced?