Goalkeepers not exempt from blue card sin-bins but managers will be

A digitally altered image of a referee showing the proposed blue card
The blue card would be football's first new permanent card for more than half a century - E+/simonkr

A blue card for a goalkeeper will force teams to choose between putting an outfield player in goal or making a permanent substitution under planned new sin-bin trials.

But managers will be exempt from being shown the game’s first permanent new card for more than half a century during the proposed pilot.

Following Telegraph Sport’s disclosure about a potentially revolutionary change to the game that sparked panic in the football world and fierce opposition from the Premier League’s leading bosses, further details of how a blue card would work can be revealed.

Other than the introduction of a third card to crack down on dissent and cynical fouls, sin-bin protocols drawn up by lawmakers at the International Football Association Board (Ifab) broadly mirror how the sanction is applied at grassroots level.

Those protocols make no special provision for a keeper being sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, a punishment which usually results in an outfield player going in goal for that period given the lack of specialist substitutes at that level.

In the event a team does have a specialist on the bench, they are only allowed to bring that player on if they make a permanent change for an outfield player, and then only allowed to remove him or her via another permanent change.

Should a team have already used up their substitutions, an outfield player would have to go in goal regardless – similar to when a keeper is sent off.

If the potential consequences of a goalie showing dissent are more severe than for an outfield player then they are far less so for managers and coaching staff.

They are still shown only a yellow card for the offence – or red for a serious infringement.

As revealed by Telegraph Sport, top-tier competitions will be excluded from initial sin-bin trials at professional level, meaning the planned protocols do not state whether video assistant referees can intervene when a player is shown a blue card, as they currently can for a red but not a yellow.

The potential role of VAR in sin-bins is likely to be the subject of fierce debate if trials are eventually given the go-ahead in the likes of the Premier League or FA Cup.

The planned protocols also do not prescribe what should take place in the event of mass confrontations between players and match officials.

However, referees are already given training to help limit the number of cards shown in such situations, while the use of sin-bins at grassroots level has not resulted in large numbers of players being simultaneously sanctioned for the offence.

The publication of the new protocols was abruptly blocked last week following the panic caused – including in football’s corridors of power – by the emergence of the blue card plan.

Those protocols could now be subject to further revision before and during Ifab’s annual general meeting in Scotland next month.