Soccer's President Sepp Blatter has announced that starting from next year referees will be issued with additional cards to the current yellows and reds.
Two additional cards, a green and a white, will be needed because of the new 'sin-bin' rule coming in designed to significantly reduce the shirt pulling, and pushing in the box during corners type of offences. From next year referees will be able to show a green card to players - meaning they have to leave the field of play for any amount of time the referee deems appropriate - with a white card then later shown to inform the player he can return to the pitch.
"Players will not be told how long they are to sit on the benches" explained Mr Blatter "They will not know until they see that white card. In fact the referee might decide not to show the white card later at all.
"Any number of players could be sin-binned to the benches during a match so clearly there is going to be a great reduction in the offences we're trying to stamp out. Let's be under no illusions, when a professional player pulls an opponents shirt or pushes them about in the box during a corner what they are basically doing is cheating - admitting they don't consider themselves talented enough to score a goal or to stop a goal from being scored through their abilities alone. And what does that lead to? It reduces the overall amount of goals being scored in any match which in turn reduces the entertainment to the paying spectator - the people who pay a lot of money to watch ninety minutes of top class football. "
Most will agree. Nobody enjoys seeing a goal scored against the team one's supporting but the frustration of watching a goal scoring opportunity come to nothing because of a tug on a shirt by a cheat is also not enjoyable. Most spectators prefer to see a game finish 1-1 than 0-0.
"The rule will also give referees the option of showing a green card instead of a second yellow with the current automatic red" explained Mr Blatter.
"At the moment there are occasions whereby a player shown a second yellow still hasn't really deserved to be sent off, and sometimes referees may not show a second yellow simply because they know it means having to follow it with a red. "
"We did also discuss the possibility of widening the goal posts as a way of increasing overall the numbers of goals being scored but we feel this sin-bin method alone should suffice. "