FIFA president issues statement on proposal slammed by Newcastle United, Liverpool & Spurs

Gianni Infantino was re-elected as FIFA President without opposition in March.Gianni Infantino was re-elected as FIFA President without opposition in March.
Gianni Infantino was re-elected as FIFA President without opposition in March. | AFP via Getty Images
Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe was among the Premier League managers against the idea.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has allayed fears of a blue card being introduced to the Premier League and other elite divisions.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) planned to trial a new blue card punishment that would see players sin-binned for 10 minutes for cynical fouls and showing dissent towards officials, in a rule similar to yellow cards being shown in rugby.

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However, the proposal received a major backlash with Newcastle United's Eddie Howe, Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's Ange Postecoglou among the English top-flight managers to slam the idea.

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"I'm not a big fan, to be honest," Howe said. "I think that's what yellow cards are for. I think the current system works well, it's just got to be applied right. I think adding a blue card would just add more confusion, in my opinion, so I'm against it.

"It will change it a lot but not, for me, in a good way because I think it will make it very bitty. More stop-start and I fear for the players who have to go off for 10 minutes and then re-find the rhythm of a Premier League game after 10 minutes out. I'm not sure it works personally." 

Meanwhile, Klopp believes matches would be like "the Wild West" while Postecoglou added: "Adding another [card]. What is that going to do? The remedy is already there. If it's not being enforced to the level people are satisfied, do that. That's the change.

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"One team being down to 10 men for 10 minutes, you know what that is going to do to our game? It's going to destroy it.

"You'll have one team sitting there trying to waste time for 10 minutes waiting for someone to come back on. Every other game is trying to speed up and declutter, all we are trying to do is go the other way for some bizarre reason."

FIFA were later forced to label the reports as "incorrect and premature". Commenting on the blue card proposal, Infantino said: "No, there will not be any blue cards used at elite level. This is a topic that is non-existent for us.

"FIFA is completely opposed to blue cards. I was not aware of this topic and I'm the president of FIFA and FIFA has a say in the IFAB.

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"If you want a title, it's a 'red card to the blue card' I don't know if this makes sense but no way, no way. We have to be serious, we have to be always open at IFAB at FIFA to look into proposals and every proposal and every idea has to be treated with respect of course.

"But once you look at it, you have to protect the game, the essence of the game and the tradition of the game - there's no blue card."

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