Champions League: Uefa changes rule on yellow cards

Xabi Alonso (centre) in action
Xabi Alonso (centre) was suspended for last season's Champions League final after picking up a third booking

Uefa has changed the rules on yellow cards to make it harder for players to be suspended for the Champions League and Europa League finals.

The European governing body has decided that yellow cards accrued will be wiped out after the quarter-final stage.

Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso missed last season's Champions League final after picking up a third caution in the semi-final against Bayern Munich.

The rule was first implemented at Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland.

But this is the first time it has been implemented in major European club contests.

Did you know?
In 1999, when Manchester United won the Champions League, captain Roy Keane was suspended for the final. The men who lifted the trophy were stand-in skipper Peter Schmeichel, playing in his final game for the club, and Sir Alex Ferguson

Spanish midfielder Alonso is among other players who have missed the final after picking up a booking in the last four - Roy Keane and Paul Scholes suffered a similar fate in 1999.

Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles of Chelsea and David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luis Gustavo of Bayern all missed the 2012 Champions League final.

Uefa acted on the recommendation of a panel set up by its Competitions Committee.

A statement read: "The Emergency Panel decided that, as of this season, all yellow cards from the beginning of the group stage will expire on completion of the quarter-finals. Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to the semi-finals."

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