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UEFA Changes Booking Suspension Rules


Clive Rose

UEFA has announced this week that, starting next season, on both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, players will not miss an eventual tournament final because of suspension due to yellow card accumulation. The new rules will work in the same way they did in the FIFA World Cup. Any player bookings will be wiped out after the quarterfinals.

The bosses of European football released a statement regarding the decision:

"[...] All yellow cards from the beginning of the group stage will expire on completion of the quarterfinals. Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to the semifinals."

That will prevent situations like last season, when Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso missed the Champions League Final due to his third tournament yellow card received in the second leg of the semifinal against Bayern Munich.

Let's use a FC Barcelona (very likely) example: if Luis Suárez has two yellow cards entering the quarterfinal and he receives another, he'll be suspended for the next game, as always. But, if he goes through both QF games without a booking, the two yellow cards will be eliminated from his record, and the only way he would miss the Final is getting a red card in the second semifinal game.

It's only fair.

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