FIFPro urges UEFA leniency
FIFPro, the international players' union, has called on UEFA to show leniency to the Chelsea and Bayern Munich stars ruled out of the Champions League final due to cumulative yellow cards.
UEFA's rules stipulate that any player booked in three separate games from the group stage onwards must serve a one-match ban, and this year's finalists stand to lose three players apiece due to cautions issued in their semi-final second legs this week.
Chelsea - in addition to captain John Terry, who was shown a straight red card - will be without Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles after their bookings at Barcelona, and Bayern's Luiz Gustavo, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber are all due to serve suspensions after being shown yellow cards at Real Madrid.
Given that UEFA is to follow FIFA's policy of wiping the slate clean at the quarter-final stage for Euro 2012 this summer, FIFPro believes this stance should be implemented for the Champions League final.
"Anybody committing a serious offence in the semi-final should be awarded a red card and miss the final, but the offences that result in a yellow card do not justify the serious punishment of missing the match of your life," FIFPro spokesman Simon Barker said. "For example, Alaba slipped over and gets the ball kicked against his hand - it is not right that such a player should miss the Champions League final because of this.
"Some people say that this will give players the licence to kick all and sundry during the semi-final, but that is utter nonsense. Any serious offence will result in a red card and that still means exclusion from the final."