No place for sinners or sin bins

It was also introduced in both rugby league and rugby union. Think of it like a ‘naughty step’ where a player is sent for 10 minutes for misbehaving.

317964 red20card 1 | FDI Việt Nam
Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language towards referee Anthony Taylor. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

Some sports historians will claim that the term ‘sin bin’ was first used in 1939, in a newspaper report of an ice hockey match between Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A journalist wrote in the Windsor Daily Star at the time: “It was while the Wings rearguard was in the sin bin that the Leafs got their only goal of the game to balance accounts. It was a typical Toronto power play that netted the counter. Four abreast, the visitors swept into Detroit territory.”

Sin bins are part and parcel of ice hockey. When a player commits a foul or some sort of infringement, a punishment can be handed down, ordering that player to leave the ice for a certain period of time.

It was also introduced in both rugby league and rugby union. Think of it like a ‘naughty step’ where a player is sent for 10 minutes for misbehaving.

There has been a lot of talk this week about the possibility of introducing a similar punishment into professional football.

The idea is, that if a player commits a foul that isn’t quite bad enough to warrant a straight red card, but a yellow isn’t tough enough, then the sin bin penalty would come into play – dismissing the player for a certain period of time.

I’m no aficionado of ice hockey or rugby by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s pretty obvious they are poles apart from football.

Ice hockey is fast and furious, end-to-end stuff. And rugby sees one team in possession for long periods of time, piling the pressure on their opponents. Taking one or two players out of the equation in both these sports would have a serious effect on the result.

Football on the other hand, not so much. Time and time again, when a team is reduced to ten men, they just kill the game, keeping possession and slowing the pace of the match right down.

If sin bin penalties are introduced, that’s exactly what will happen.

Picture the scene… Manchester United one goal to the good against Arsenal with 15 minutes to go and a player is told to leave the pitch for 10 minutes.

Can you imagine how boring those next 10 minutes will be? United, like any other team that finds themselves in that position, will be slow taking free kicks, waste time at throw-ins, take an age over a goal-kick, all to just let the clock tick down until their player is allowed back on.

It will be a farce.

There is a need for a change in football rules. VAR has been causing more problems than it should of late. But sin bins? No thanks.

It just strikes me as fixing one big problem by creating an even bigger one. And that solves nothing.

Theo Vietnamnews