KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: Sin bins may not be the great popular cure-all for player misbehaviour that senior football figures had hoped.

Both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his European counterpart Michel Platini have spoken up approvingly of the potential of a temporary punishment favoured by both ice hockey and rugby union.

However the lawmaking International Football Association Board, at its annual meeting in Zurich, decided ‘only’ to continue with controlled experiments.

A pilot was organised in a youth tournament run by European federation UEFA at the English football training centre at St George’s Park north of Birmingham.


Problems identified included the timing as well as a tendency to defensive play by a sanctioned team. Concerns also emerged that applying such a rule would exacerbate the difficulty of refereeing in youth and recreational football.

The issue has been forward to IFAB’s new football and technical advisory panels for further investigation.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: “Sins bins were piloted by UEFA at an under-16 tournament at St George’s Park.

“There was an impact on flow of game and willingness of players to commit to tackles. We will ask UEFA to carry on thinking about it at that level. I would expect they may try different things: maybe five minutes instead of 10 minutes.”

Jonathan Ford, for the FA of Wales, added: “Some teams became more defensive so it did have a major impact on the game.”

Other decisions:

Yes: IFAB ratified the hitherto provisional use of head covers by female players and approved in principle permission for male players. A request to this effect had been received from the Sikh community in Canada. Decisions will follow on the nature of the garment and colour.

Yes: Pilot experiments in England and Scotland with ‘running substitutes’ in youth football can continue after encouraging reports of the potential for increased participation.

Yes: Permission was granted for the experimental use of an electronic player tracking system during next week’s Algarve Cup women’s tournament.

No: IFAB definitely barred any form of video use by match officials.

Pending: A new structure for the Laws of the Game booklet which allies the interpretations to the specific laws.