Mesut Ozil has weighed in on the proposals being floated over the potential introduction of a new blue card as part of changes to the rules around sin-bins in the professional game
Former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil has poked fun at former rivals Atletico Madrid as the introduction of a new blue card is considered.
Proposals have been floated over the introduction of the new card as part of sin-bin trials. It would be the first new card colour for 50 years, with the move currently under consideration by the International Football Association Board.
The new measures would see players removed from play for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent towards a match official. They would also be sent off if they receive two blue cards in a game or a combination of a blue and a yellow.
Ozil quickly took the chance to use the news to poke fun at Atletico, having played for their fierce rivals Real Madrid for three years. The German won La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Los Blancos, as well as facing Atletico numerous times.
And he aimed a sly dig at Diego Simeone’s side, who are renowned for having run-ins with referees. The former Madrid star wrote on Twitter : “So Atletico Madrid will only play with 6 players then?”
The former playmaker spent three years at the Bernabeu, coming up against Atletico eight times. He won seven of those matches, scoring four goals and notching two assists against Madrid’s city rivals.
He would face Atletico twice more while playing for Arsenal, in the semi-finals of the 2017/2018 Europa League. Unfortunately for him and the Gunners, Atletico won that clash 1-0 on aggregate.
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Sin-bins have been used at grassroots level for dissent but they could be extended to cynical fouls as part of the trial. It is not yet known when the trial will start and which competitions it would involve.
The Premier League has though already ruled out being part of the initial roll-out of any trial. Ifab will hold its annual meeting at Loch Lomond in Scotland in March and sin-bin trials at higher levels of the game are listed as a topic in the agenda.
The introduction of new cards has taken place on a smaller scale on the continent, with Portugal adopting a measure to recognise good sportsmanship. FIFA have moved to deny that the blue card is set to be introduced.
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“FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called ‘blue card’ at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature,” a statement issued by the world governing body’s media department read.
“Any such trials, if implemented, should be limited to testing in a responsible manner at lower levels, a position that FIFA intends to reiterate when this agenda item is discussed at the IFAB AGM on 2 March.”
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