Sin Bins are coming for 19/20 – Know the facts

Temporary dismissals for Dissent cautions are coming into the game from season 2019-20 for all affiliated football and will replace the existing fine attached to this type of offence.

The FA’s pilot scheme for this initiative which has run over the last two seasons in approximately 135,000 matches identified the average Dissent caution to be 0.46 per game. For season 2016/17 there was 73,500 cautions for Dissent alone. On average an admin fee of £10 per caution, financially challenges players and clubs.

A behavioural matter as opposed to a football matter, the aim of the match day sanction of a temporary dismissal, or ‘Sin Bin’ as it is more commonly known, is to improve both the behaviour of individual players and to enhance the overall match day experience for all involved.

With the official introduction of this process, The FA has committed that the £10 admin fee for a Dissent caution will be removed and instead, replaced with the player being required to serve a Sin Bin during the match as an ‘immediate punishment’.

All cautions for Dissent must be dealt with by the Sin Bin process. The Sin Bin is a 10 minute time out for all 90 minute games, and 8 minutes for all games less than 90 minutes.

An overview guide of Dissent with other Cautionable offences
An overview guide of Dissent with other Cautionable offences

It’s important to highlight that if something that is said that is insulting, abusive or offensive; whilst it is still classed as Dissent, it can also be deemed a red card offence.

What Is Dissent?

‘Dissent’ is a challenge to the referees authority, whether this be using inappropriate language and/or gestures or other verbal offences.

Sarcastic clapping or comment of a referee’s decision and throwing the ball down after a decision are examples of dissent by action or comment.

Matchday Process

In order to ensure that you have a full understanding as to how the Sin Bin process will be implemented during a game, please refer to the below information:-


  • Applies only to active players only (those on the field of play)
  • Does not apply to substitutes and coaching staff


  • The referee will take the name of the offending player
  • A yellow card will be issued and shown
  • Referee to point to the touchline where the player must go (there will be no specific Sin Bin area)


  • Sin Bin to last for 10 minutes in matches of a 90 minute duration
  • Sin bin to last for 8 minutes in all other matches
  • The Sin Bin period only commences when the referee restarts play
  • Referee will include any lost time (i.e injury delay)
  • Referee is the sole arbitrator of time and as to when the player can return (permission can be given when the ball is in play)

Offending Player?

  • Cannot be substituted until the Sin Bin period has expired
  • Can take part in a penalty shootout – even if the Sin Bin period has not expired (i.e. end of extra time)
  • Must be in the Sin Bin for active playing time (i.e. Sin Bin to continue into 2nd half if required)
  • Defined as being in the Sin Bin from the moment they are cautioned for Dissent (even if play has not yet restarted)
  • Any player who has been Temporarily Dismissed and commits a further yellow or red card offence whilst in the Sin Bin cannot take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted

On-Field Sanctions

As of the 2019/20 season, all Dissent cautions must be dealt with via the Sin Bin process whereas cautions for all other offences (Unsporting Behaviour, Persistent Infringement etc.) will remain unaffected. Repeat offenders will be sanctioned as per the guidelines below.

If a temporary dismissed player:-

  • Commits another Yellow Card offence or Red Card offence during the sin bin period, they cannot take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted
  • Commits a non-dissent caution at any time on the field of play in addition to the sin bin period will continue to play
  • Commits a 2nd Dissent caution (and no other offences) will receive a 2nd period in the sin bin.At the end of that period, the player can take no further part in the game but can be substituted (providing that the team concerned has not used all of their permitted substitutes)
  • Commits a 2nd dissent offence and has already had a non-dissent caution will take no further part in the game and cannot be substituted