Football to Test New Rules: Temporary Suspensions Could Be Introduced Next Year
In football, 10-minute suspensions for cynical fouls and displays of dissatisfaction with referee decisions could be introduced into the game as early as next year. This proposal was announced at the meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in London on Tuesday and is subject to approval at the annual general meeting in March 2024, as reported by BBC Sport.
Similar rules have been tested in various amateur leagues since 2019. However, it is now set to be tested at the professional level. In addition to the new rules, a provision is also planned to allow only the team captain to communicate with the referee on the football field. The Football Association in England reported a 38% overall reduction in fouls in 31 leagues where these innovations were implemented.
IFAB Secretary Lukas Brud said that one of the next steps would be to determine the competitions where trials could take place.
"Over the next weeks and months, we are going to identify at which levels it is best to conduct the testing. I hope that in the next few months, we will have clarity on which competitions will also want to try this. Competition organizers themselves will decide whether they want to participate in these trials or not," noted Lukas Brud.
Former referee Pierluigi Collina, currently serving as the head of FIFA's referee committee, said that the proposed trials are "very likely" to affect professional football.
Mark Bullingham, Executive Director of the Football Association in England and a member of the IFAB board, mentioned that the possibility of introducing temporary suspensions for tactical fouls, such as when a promising counterattack is disrupted by a player grabbing an opponent's shirt, may also be considered in the future.
It's worth noting that in August in the USA, a scandal erupted during the Inter Miami - Orlando match when Lionel Messi had a heated exchange with the match referee, demanding the expulsion of an opposing team player. Considering that Messi already had a yellow card at that time, Orlando's coach and football experts pointed out that Messi himself should have been sent off. As a result, the referee of that match, Ivan Barton, who did not send off either Messi or his opponent, came under a storm of criticism.