FA Cup could introduce never-before-seen rule change next season, it would revolutionise football

FA Cup could introduce never-before-seen rule change next season, it would revolutionise football

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The FA Cup could introduce a rule change never before seen in the 153-year history of the competition, according to reports.

As a staple diet of the English football calendar, the FA Cup hasn’t undergone too many revolutionary changes throughout time, with the most notable being the introduction of VAR in recent years.

The FA have also scrapped – and then reintroduced – replays in the third and fourth rounds of the competition, although some clubs have argued that they should be scrapped permanently.

But according to new reports, the competition could be set for what would be its biggest rule change in history.

The Times claim that the FA are ‘seriously considering’ a trial for sin-bins, which would see players sent off for 10 minutes if they perform cynical fouls or dissent towards match officials.

It is added that the International FA Board (Ifab) are set to hold an annual meeting next month, in which they are expected to authorise the trials.

But the final decision will rest with the FA as whether to introduce them for the FA Cup.

In November, Ifab also rubber-stamped a trial that would allow a team captain to approach the referee ‘in certain major game situations‘, and agreed that sin bins should be trialled ‘for dissent and specific tactical offences’.

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Sin bins have been used at grassroots football levels since the 2019/20 season, but have not yet been seen in professional football in what would be a revolutionary move for the sport.

They are used in rugby and ice hockey, and have been effective in lowering the quantity of dissent.

Football fans may remember sin-bins being used in the iconic Masters Football tournaments – although you would likely see them used in a different way at the professional level.

Speaking to Wales Online about sin-bins, former rugby union referee Nigel Owens explained: “I think the issue of dissent in rugby has been kept in check since the introduction of the sin-bin and of course not forgetting the 10 metres on too, and I think the sin-bin can have the same impact in professional football.

“No matter what you do at the grassroots level, you’re not going to be able to eradicate abuse and dissent until you set the standards at the very top.”

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