What is a blue card in soccer? A detailed explanation of what it does and how it will change soccer

What is a blue card in soccer? A detailed explanation of what it does and how it will change soccer

Claudia Kogi
updated at February 13, 2024 at 3:22 PM
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FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup

If you are a keen soccer enthusiast, then you must have heard about the introduction of the blue card in future matches. And while the most famous cards are often the yellows and the reds, players could be issued the new one, the blue card. So, what is the meaning of a blue card in football and how will it affect the game?

Blue cards in soccer or football
FIFA released a statement amid reports that elite football could see the introduction of blue cards. Photo: PNC (Modified by editor)
Source: Facebook

Challenging traditional norms and aiming to redefine the concept of fair play, the blue card has swiftly made its mark, sparked curiosity and ignited passionate discussions among players, fans, and pundits. In this article, you will get to learn more about what's a blue card in soccer.

What is a blue card in soccer?

A blue card in football means a minor penalty where an offending player sits in a penalty box area due to being temporarily suspended from a match for a duration of 10 minutes or until a goal is scored against the offending player's team.

How do you get a blue card in soccer? It is given for dissent and cynical fouls and results in a player spending ten minutes off the pitch in the sin bin while their team continues with an on-field disadvantage of a 10-man squad.

Top 5 facts about blue cards in football or soccer
Top 5 facts about blue cards in football or soccer. Photo: @Latestsoccerupdates (modified by editor)
Source: Original

What happens when you get a blue card in soccer?

The moment a soccer player receives this particular card, they face several consequences. These include;

Temporary suspension

With this consequence, the athlete ought to get off the pitch for 10 minutes. During this time, the match continues as usual.

Power play

During a player's suspension from the pitch, the opposing team gets the upper hand as the other team consists of fewer athletes. As a result, it creates a power play scenario where the opposing team outnumbers the team affected with the temporary send-off.

Team adjustment

The affected player's team must adapt tactically to compensate for the temporary loss. This could involve the players switching positions or adapting to their various roles to pay for their teammates' absence.

Keep in mind that there are no specific athletes susceptible to committing fouls. Every player with a number on their back can commit a foul knowingly or unknowingly. Whether or not the player is the team's most significant, consequences should be faced.

One blue

10-minute sin bin

Two blues

Sent off

One blue and one yellow

Sent off

Blue card in soccer or football
The blue card would sit alongside the yellow and red cards, with a player being sent to the sin bin. Photo: PNC (Modified by editor)
Source: Getty Images

Why are blue cards being introduced in football?

For a long time now, since the inception of football, the only reigning penalties have been the yellow and red ones. However, there has been a real push from authorities in recent years to crack down on dissent towards referees and match officials. The chief executive of the FA, Mark Bullingham, said,

When we were looking at sin bins, protocol clearly has to be developed. The area we were looking at was dissent, which worked very well in the grassroots game in England. The starting point was looking at player's behaviour and dissent. We are considering whether we should extend it into other areas, such as tactical fouls.

On 8 February 2024, Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explained how the possible introduction of the blue cards could impact football. He went further and explained that the cards could officially and fully be implemented in the next season.

How many blue cards will equal a red card?

The Manchester United team lines up ahead of the UEFA Europa League match
The Manchester United team lines up ahead of the UEFA Europa League match against Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on 20 October 2016 in Manchester, England. Photo: John Peters
Source: Getty Images

In a typical scenario, if a player is issued one yellow card, the second one, without a doubt, becomes a red. In this case, if an athlete receives the second blue, they are dismissed for the rest of the match. The players can also be dismissed if they receive a yellow on top of a blue.


A blue is set to be introduced in football as part of a sin-bin trial, whereby players shown a blue card would have to leave the field for 10 minutes as part of an effort to crack down on dissent and blatant tactical fouls committed. Below are some facts about these soccer cards.

How long will a sin-bin last?

The consequence is set to last for ten minutes. Getting it in the final few minutes of a match will mean that the particular player's activity on the pitch is up.

Is there such a thing as a green card in soccer?

A green card in soccer rewards athletes who exhibit exemplary sportsmanship while also serving as a disciplinary measure against those who lack respect or dissent against match officials. Though not a part of the traditional system, it has been used sparingly throughout history.

Arsenal players celebrate after scoring their 3rd goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool FC
Arsenal players celebrate after scoring their 3rd goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on 4 February 2024 in London, England. Photo by David Price
Source: Getty Images

Has any player received the blue card?

Since its recent introduction, a referee has yet to issue the card. This is because, in as much it has been brought up, there has yet to be official communication as to whether it should be implemented.

Final word

Changes to soccer's laws have been a frequent controversial story and debate over recent years, especially in the VAR era. The introduction of the blue cards has recently taken over headlines, with soccer bodies claiming to implement them as soon as possible. But the question remains: will this new penalty prevail?

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Every team in the league has its logo, which has meaning within the MLS and fulfils various tasks in line with their success over the years. Click on the link above to find out which is the best logo in the MLS.

Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined Sportsbrief.com as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.