UEFA has changed the rules on yellow cards making it harder for players to be suspended for the Champions League and Europa League finals.
Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso missed last season’s victorious showpiece in Lisbon after picking up a third caution of the campaign in the semi-final against Bayern Munich.
The Spaniard joined an exclusive club of players who missed the final after picking up a booking in the last-four with Roy Keane and Paul Scholes suffering a similar fate in 1999.
The situation came to a head when Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles of Chelsea and David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luis Gustavo of Bayern all missed the 2012 final and now the European governing body has announced that all yellow cards will be wiped off after the quarter finals.
“Following a recommendation by the UEFA Club Competitions Committee – in order to implement in UEFA club competitions a rule which is already in force in the UEFA European Football Championship – 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,” read a statement.
“Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to the semi-finals.”