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WILL CLARK: Blue card example of too much time on some hands

By Will Clark

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Yellow card. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Yellow card. Picture: James Mackenzie.

IF it isn’t broken, why try to fix it? Blue cards are the latest idea being suggested to be introduced to football.

The blue cards would be given to players who are guilty of dissent and tactical fouls and spend 10 minutes off the pitch.

Discussions have taken place between football lawmakers Ifab and Fifa about introducing the new rule, although further talks have been delayed.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou was the most vocal of his disapproval for the proposed new measure.

He says if blue cards were introduced to football, it would be in danger of destroying the game.

He was quoted as saying; “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.”

It is the latest example of people trying to complicate a game, whose popularity across the world is down to its simplicity.

VAR is a recent development to football which has a lot of critics, with many people saying it slows the game down.

I am not as critical of VAR as other people are, mainly because VAR rarely, if ever, gets decisions wrong according to the rules.

However, many people would rather get rid of the technology and hand responsibility back to the referee and the officials to speed the game back up again.

There were calls for video technology to be introduced before it became part of the game.

The genie is out of the bottle and if people don’t like it, then it is a harsh lesson of be careful what you wish for.

VAR is here to stay, whether people like it or not.

However, it is not too late to stop blue cards being introduced which I think would be detrimental to the game.

There have been examples of other ideas introduced to football before being scrapped.

The golden goal rule, when a team that scored the first goal in extra-time won the game, was introduced in 1993 and used at a major football tournament for the first time at the 1996 European Championships.

It decided the final when Oliver Bierhoff scored the winner for Germany to beat Czech Republic 2-1.

However, it was seen as being detrimental to a match, where teams were seen as being more defensive than attacking in fear of conceding a goal.

The silver goal rule, where if one team were in front in the first half of extra time won the game, was brought in for Euro 2004.

Greece famously used it to beat the Czech Republic 1-0 in their semi final on their way to winning the tournament. But after that, it was decided to revert to playing for the entire 30 minutes and scrapping golden and silver goals.

In rugby, there was a trial where if a player was sent off, he was allowed to be replaced after 20 minutes.

This is was unpopular as it was not seen as an adequate punishment for someone being guilty of foul play and practically a licence for aggression.

People and organisations always have their own ideas on how they can make sports and competitions more exciting.

But when football is already the most popular game in the world, what is the point in changing something which so many people love in the first place?

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