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Hockey’s penalty box could be introduced to soccer as IFAB will trial temporary send offs

LONDON — Measures to improve player behavior and increase respect for match officials were supported at the law-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) annual meeting on Tuesday.

A proposed trial whereby only the team captain may approach the referee in certain game situations was backed and it was also agreed that temporary dismissals for dissent and specific tactical offences should be trialled at higher levels.

Sin bins (similar to hockey's penalty box) have already had a successful implementation in grassroots football.

New IFAB rules ideas

The proposals will be considered at IFAB's AGM in March and any changes approved will be incorporated into the Laws of the Game from July 1, 2024.

The members also agreed on continuing to develop semi-automated offside technology to help on-field match officials speed up decision making.

The meeting discussed strategies to address the time lost in games and tactics aimed at disrupting the tempo, including the six-second time restriction for goalkeepers to release the ball, delaying restarts and managing injuries.

IFAB also agreed that, after the successful VAR decision communication trial conducted by soccer's world governing body FIFA, in which the referee announces the final decision after a VAR review, the AGM should consider including this measure.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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