FIFA has refuted claims that blue cards will be introduced in major competitions next season, despite a report suggesting that a trial would be announced this week.
According to The Telegraph, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) is set to declare the introduction of blue cards to the game as early as the next season.
Although the report specifies that they will not be utilised in top-tier competitions, there is a possibility of them being tested in tournaments such as the FA Cup and League Cup if the Football Association (FA) volunteers these events for the trial.
However, FIFA has dismissed the idea that blue cards will be implemented in elite competitions, stating in a later Thursday statement: "FIFA wishes to clarify that reports of the so-called 'blue card' at elite levels of football are incorrect and premature. 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 1 March."
The trial will allow referees to show blue cards for dissent and fouls intended to stop promising attacks and will see a player banished from the field for 10 minutes. Blue cards have already been introduced at the grassroots level in some areas and appear set to come into the professional game soon as part of a wider 'sin-bin' regulation.
FIFA will discuss the introduction of a blue card trial at the annual general meeting next month.
Remember, FIFA referees' chief Pierluigi Collina backed the idea of sin bins, saying: "The idea is to start working on this as soon as possible to provide those who would be involved in the trial a protocol to be used. The idea is to get it soon.
"The trial was very successful in grassroots competitions. Now we are talking of a higher level, very probably professional or even high professional football.'
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham confirmed their interest in using sin bins back in November.
"When we were looking at sin bins - protocol clearly has to be developed - the areas we were looking at were dissent, where it's worked very, very well in the grassroots game in England," he said.
In contrast, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expressed his opposition to the move, and sin-bins will not be utilised at this summer's European Championship or next season's Champions League.