Ange on sin-bin idea: Refs should stop interfering

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou has urged football’s lawmakers to scrap plans to introduce sin-bins and stop making unnecessary changes that could have a detrimental effect on the game.

In a bid to tackle growing dissent in the game, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) — football’s rule‑making body — announced on Tuesday that sin‑bins would be trialled at “higher levels” after grassroots tests showed promising results.

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Temporary dismissals have been tested in English football across 31 grassroots leagues since 2019, with players receiving a yellow card and then forced to sit out 10 minutes of a match. The Football Association claims it delivered a 38% reduction in dissent.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has suggested sin-bins could be trialled in the Women’s Super League and the FA Cup next season.

IFAB will discuss in March the extent to which sin-bins will be used but Tottenham manager Postecoglou voiced his opposition to the move, having previously urged lawmakers to scrap VAR due to issues with implementation.

“Bin it mate, bin the whole idea,” Postecoglou told a news conference on Friday.

“Just forget about it. I don’t know why they [IFAB] keep interjecting themselves into the game. There’s not that much wrong with the game. I think once they throw an idea like that out, it usually means they’ve already tested the waters.

“I don’t think there’s a need for it. I think you’re seeing a lot more dissent in the game these days because there’s more a lot more people to dissent to: in the past it was just the referee but [now] you can dissent to the fourth official, you can dissent to the VAR, you can dissent the head of referees.

“It used to be simple. The authority was with the referee and he could handle it himself. I just don’t think we need to mess with the game too much but it is what it is.”

Postecoglou’s Spurs side travel to champions Manchester City on Sunday missing 11 first-team players after it was confirmed Rodrigo Bentancur will miss around two months with an ankle problem.

Ivan Perisic (knee), Micky van de Ven (thigh), James Maddison (ankle), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Manor Solomon (knee), Richarlison (groin), Pape Matar Sarr (muscular) and Ashley Phillips (ankle) and Alfie Whiteman (ankle) are all out while Cristian Romero is still suspended following his red card against Chelsea.

Postecoglou believes it is the worst injury crisis of his career.

“I haven’t thought a lot about it but fair to say I don’t think [I’ve ever experienced this before],” the 58-year-old said.

“Not in such a high volume in such a short space of time. Over the course of a season, yes. Like most managers, you go through spells where you are missing players but to have this much in such a short space of time is probably the first time I have experienced something like that.

“That’s what you love about football. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you’ve been around, there’s always something you’ve got to deal with. If I’m in a situation again where I’ve got 11 absences, this experience will make me better for it.”

Pushed on whether the injury situation could force Tottenham into the market for a central midfielder in January — particularly with Sarr and Yves Bissouma representing Senegal and Mali respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations next month — Postecoglou added: “It depends. We’re not sort of ruling out anything.

“What you’ve sort of outlined there is the best case scenario, that if everyone else who is here stays fit. Which hasn’t been the case so far. We may be forced to.

“There may be no choice on it. Again, not going into January, but we’ve got some sort of specific ideas about what we’re going to try and do for sure but at the same time, depending on how things go between now and then and how the recovery of guys is, we may need to make a different kind of decision. But all that work has been done so we’re ready either way.”

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