On IFAB proposals to trial ‘sin bins’ in professional football…
“Sweden have quite often been a forerunner in trying things out. I don’t know if you realise, or if I told you before, the multi-ball system started in Sweden in 1977. We take that for granted now. I don’t know when it came into Europe, the rest of Europe, but it’s been in Sweden since 1977.
“And I also remember a period of around about that time between ‘76 and ‘80 when the idea of sin bins came in as well. I don’t know that it makes a vast amount of difference. For me, the longer I’m in the game, it seems to me, if you’re not careful, you spend a lot of time talking about and moving away from the really vitally important factors in the game.
“I think that these changes in laws in recent years have made an incredible difference to the game, made it so much better, so much more entertaining, so much more of a spectacle, so we have made enormous strides in that respect.
“I don’t know if I should keep talking about it… but for me, at the moment, the major factor is the handball interpretation. I think that makes a vast difference to the game, and every week you guys are confronted with some enormous controversy somewhere around the world – there’s an enormous injustice being committed in people’s eyes.
“For me, I would much rather people concentrate on aspects like that, which are making a vast difference to the outcome of games. Sin bins, will they make a vast difference? I don’t know. Will only allowing the captain talk to the referee? Well, that will see more yellow cards because unfortunately, what players will do, they’ll react immediately and emotionally with decisions made and the referee will be there.
“It will be a spontaneous action, just like the spontaneous action, when a free-kick is awarded against you and the ball’s dropped down at your feet, you kick it away.
“Now giving people yellow cards for those things, all it means is you get more suspensions. And fans of course would unfortunately get to see sometimes the players they’d like to see less often, because they’ve racked up the necessary 5 and 10 suspensions to get them taken out of the game.
“They’re not the things that interest me. The things that interest me are things which make a vast difference to the way the game is played. And I’ve got to be frank that the sin bin idea, I don’t have a strong opinion about it either way, other than it seems to me we are touching the edges and we are actually turning a blind eye to the elephant in room.”