Football chiefs considering shock FIVE new rules at crunch meeting including sin-bins and refs stopping matches mid-game


REFS could stop matches for a number of minutes to “calm down” feuding players under a plan to be discussed by football’s Law makers next month.

A discussion on trialling official “cooling off periods” after flare-ups is on the formal agenda for the annual general meeting of the International FA Board to be held at Loch Lomond on March 2.

RexPlayers could be sin-binned next season[/caption]

GettyGoalkeepers could be hit with a new punishment for time wasting[/caption]

The handball law could also changeRex

The idea is the latest development as The Ifab seeks to improve player behaviour across the world game.

It comes with members, including FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, expected to give the green light for formal trials of sin-bins for cynical game-stopping fouls from as soon as next season.

And Law makers are also likely to confirm another trial of punishing time-wasting by goalkeepers by awarding corner kicks.

The only Law changes on the agenda, which will be part of the game from next season, will see all deliberate defensive hand-ball offences in the penalty box bringing red cards while the ball must overhang or touch the centre of the spot at penalties.

But three trials aimed directly at improving behaviour are all on the table, with the prospect of official “cooling off” breaks called by referees if players are out of control a new idea.

While it is unclear what protocols would be adopted, it is thought all players would be forcibly separated by the match officials.

Refs would have the discretion to call time on play for as long as required to get tempers back in check.

The other two trials were endorsed by Ifab – which is composed of the four Home Nations and four votes for Fifa – in November.

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One will see competitions trialling a system where only a team’s captain can approach the referee during a game.

The other will see 10 minute sin-bins in operation at senior level for the first time as Ifab seeks to reduce “anti-football behaviour” such as break-stopping, cynical fouls and mouthing off at officials.

Bullingham explained in November: “The areas we were looking at were dissent and tactical fouls.

“There’s a real frustration for fans when they’re watching games when they see a promising counter-attack that’s ruined by that sort of foul.

“We asked if a yellow card is sufficient punishment for that and don’t believe it is.”

SunSport revealed in November that extending the scope of VAR to include second yellow cards and even free-kicks and corners was something Ifab would look into.

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This comes after Fifa refs’ chief Pierluigi Collina said it was time to investigate the “second stage” of the technology as long as it did not lead to further delays.


Sin-bins for cynical game-stopping fouls.
Time-wasting goalkeepers to have a corner given against them.
Defenders to get a straight red card for deliberate handballs.
Only the team captain can confront the referee.
Matches stopped after flare-ups for “cooling off periods”.

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