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Goalkeepers ‘not exempt’ from sin bin as any player could be shown a blue card

Goalkeepers shown a blue card and sent to the sin bin cannot be directly replaced until their period of temporary dismissal ends, under protocols still to be published by the game’s lawmakers – the PA news agency understands.

Sin bin trial protocols developed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) make provision for any player on the pitch, including goalkeepers, to be sent to the sin bin for dissent or a tactical foul.

However, they do not extend to substitutes, substituted players or team officials such as a manager or coach.

Protocols designed to improve player behaviour, including sin bins, captain-only zones and cooling-off periods were set to be published on Friday but their publication has now been delayed indefinitely, pending further talks at the IFAB annual general meeting in early March.

However, PA understands goalkeepers are not exempt from temporary dismissals and that no sin-binned player can be substituted until the temporary dismissal period has ended.

That would mean a team whose goalkeeper was sin-binned would need to decide whether to bring on a substitute goalkeeper by taking off an outfield player to cover their absence for 10 minutes, or cope with an outfield player in goal during the period of temporary dismissal.

If they went for the first of those options, they would then need to decide which goalkeeper to take off once the temporary dismissal period had ended and the original goalkeeper re-entered the pitch, assuming they had enough substitutions left.

The delay in publication of the IFAB protocols came after multiple media reports surfaced on Thursday about the introduction of blue cards as part of sin bin trials.

It was reported that a backlash against the idea contributed to the