Madrid, 5 December
UEFA chief Michel Platini has called for football to scrap yellow cards, saying players who flout the rules should instead be sent to a sin bin.
“I would change the system of cautions, the cards,” the head of European football’s governing body told Spanish sports daily AS in an interview published today.
“I would make it like rugby, punishing the offender with 10 or 15 minutes out of the game,” Platini said.
“That way, the benefit goes to the team he is playing against, in the same match, instead of a sanction by cards which is carried out against a third team, the next on the calendar.”
Under the existing system, a player who gets a straight red card or two yellow cards in the same game is immediately sent off and cannot be replaced. But a player who accumulates a certain number of yellow cards over several matches can be suspended for future games in the same tournament. In the UEFA Champions League, for example, two yellow cards in a stage of the tournament leads to a one-game suspension.
Platini stressed that the sin bin was just a proposal. “It is an idea,” Platini said. “Now it needs to mature and see if it really is good for the game. It is a proposal to be explored.”
The UEFA boss said he backed the idea of allowing national Cup champions to take part in the Champions League, which is now restricted to teams that finish in the top ranks of their leagues. “I agree with this proposal, which we have debated many times,” Platini said.
“But when it comes time to vote, countries that don’t want to cede a place for the cup champion are in the majority,” he added. Some countries did not even have a national cup tournament, Platini said. “UEFA is democratic and the vote is clear.