January 15, 2015 / 3:13 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Collina backs UEFA's "white card" sin-ban idea

ESTORIL, Portugal Jan 15 (Reuters) - UEFA’s refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina has thrown his support behind the idea of implementing sin bins as a form of punishment to help curtail player’s simulation and over-zealous protesting of refereeing decisions.

Speaking at the ‘Football Talks 2015’ conference in Estoril, Portugal, the former World Cup final referee who is now UEFA’s chief refereeing officer said the idea of punishing players with an enforced break on the sidelines, already popular in many sports including rugby and ice hockey, was one that was being considered by European soccer’s governing body.

In October, UEFA President Michel Platini proposed in his book ‘Parlons Football’ that ‘white cards’ could be given to players who dive to earn a foul or argue too profusely with the referee, leading to an expulsion from the match for a limited period of time rather than the current yellow and red card system.

Collina said the idea of sin bins could send a message to players that simulation or arguing with the referee was unacceptable.

“It is important to give a message,” said Collina.

“I don’t think it is a positive message to have a simulation on the field of play, I don’t think it is a positive message to have players always complaining, protesting against referees’ decision.

“So the message that should be given is more correctness on the field of play and maybe a sin bin like five, seven, ten — I don’t know how long minutes could be an answer.”

UEFA has tested their use in various youth tournaments in the past year but Collina stressed it was still early in the process and there was a long way to go before such punishment was seen at the senior level.

“We experienced this kind of sin bin in our youth competition at UEFA — the result was positive.

He also highlighted the daily work carried out by the UEFA referees team on promoting clear communication and demanding the highest fitness levels.

“Tiredness can bring a lack of lucidity for important decisions to be taken towards the end of a match,” he stated.

“It is vital to be correct, especially in the modern game, where the matches are played at such great velocity.”

Collina was speaking at a three-day conference about the game, part of the celebrations ff the Portuguese Football Federation’s 100th anniversary. (Writing by Jack Tarrant in London, editing by Mike Collett)

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