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Vatican tournament to use 'sin bin' card

By Nigel Pankhurst
BBC Sport

Clericus Cup trophy
Sixteen teams from around the world will compete in the Clericus Cup

A "sin bin" blue card is to be used at an Italian amateur football tournament ahead of its discussion by world governing body Fifa later this month.

The Clericus Cup, which is played at the Vatican in Italy, between priests and trainee clergy, will involve Serie A referee Stefano Farina officiating.

If a blue card is showed to a player he will have to go off for five minutes.

"All we can say is it's on the agenda, anything more would be speculation," a Fifa spokesman told BBC Sport.

World football's rule-making body the International Football Association Board will discuss the introduction of sin bins at its Annual General Meeting on 28 February.

The Irish Football Association has submitted the issue for discussion at the meeting which takes place in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

It wants to gauge opinion on "the possibility of using 'sin bins' for players guilty of breaches of the laws of the game, currently resulting in the administration of a yellow card".

"There will be a discussion and members of IFAB have a wide range of options," added the Fifa spokesman. "For example, they could decide to have a vote or they could decide to look at it further."

The spokesman said any trials would have to be sanctioned by Fifa to be official, but could not say whether the body would be monitoring the experiment in the Vatican.

Other possible rule changes up for discussion include the use of goal-line technology, allowing a fourth substitute in extra-time, and extending half-time from a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes.

The IFAB comprises one voting member from each of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations plus four from Fifa, and requires a three-quarter majority to pass rule changes.

Sixteen teams will play in the Clericus Cup every weekend except Easter until the final on 23 May.

The date has been chosen to be just before this year's Champions League final which will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

The games follow the standard rules of football, except they last 60 minutes.

The competition is sponsored by the Italian Olympic Committee, the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, and lay Catholic sports body the Centro Sportivo Italiano.

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see also
Fans keen on rugby-style sin bins
18 Apr 06 |  Football

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