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Orange cards getting the headlines, but FIFA’s presidential campaigners could provide fertile debates over future of the sport

Jan 21, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT

Referee Cesar Muniz showed cards to nine different Elche players. Getty Images

As we told you yesterday, Jérôme Champagne wants to be your new FIFA president. Part of his campaign includes the introduction of some ideas to improve the game. Getting the headlines today is the concept of “orange” cards that would send players, essentially, to the equivalent of hockey’s penalty box.

Worse than a yellow but better than a red, the card is an interesting idea but there’s a larger idea here: could the campaigns to replace Sepp Blatter produce a better football? Champagne is just one man up for the job and wants to see a proper, televised debate between all candidates. With ideas like his, in all honesty I can’t wait to see what else is proffered.

From the BBC…

His other proposals include:

  • Quotas for foreign players
  • Implementing rugby’s rule where only the captain can talk to the referee with a free-kick advanced 10 yards for any dissent
  • Abolishing the ‘triple punishment’ rule where a player who prevents a goalscoring opportunity in the penalty areas concedes a spot-kick, is sent off and also suspended
  • All Fifa presidential candidates taking part in live debates on television and in front of the six continental confederations
  • Making public the salary of the Fifa president and leading officials

Leaving aside the merit of any specific rule, this should provide some great viewing/reading/listening leading up to the June 2015 election.

As for orange cards, most fear change but it’s an intriguing idea. Provided they don’t then dip into further hues — the ‘peach’ card or the ‘atomic tangerine’ card — it could work.

“Oh, dear, a clattering tackle from Coloccini on Borini. Is it? Could it be, Lee?”

“Yes, Arlo… Mariner is reaching for the papaya whip card.”

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