A fourth substitute in extra time could be coming your way this summer if the International Football Association Board votes it into practice on Feb. 28 in Northern Ireland.
Also up for consideration at the meeting will be:
— Changing the rule that causes a penalty kick, red card and suspension when a defender commits the so-called “triple foul.”
— Giving the fourth official a clock to calculate stoppage time for the head referee (proposed by US Soccer).
— Trying out “sin bins” in youth soccer that would serve, in essence, as an “orange card,” removing a player for a set period of time.
As for the fourth substitute, this from the Associated Press:
Designed to help teams cope with tired and injured players in the extra 30 minutes of play, the plan has been supported by World Cup-winning Germany coach Joachim Loew.
It’s the most high-profile decision set to be taken by IFAB, which will also begin discussions about the potential use of video replays to aid refereeing discussions. FIFA President Sepp Blatter surprised IFAB members in Brazil when he launched that idea last June at the governing body’s congress in Sao Paulo.
All four ideas sound reasonable enough, though it’s hard to believe the ‘orange card’ would ever move any higher than youth levels, where development is more important than results and hampering a team with 10 players because a kid made a bad tackle isn’t prudent for player progress.