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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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UEFA rejects final suspensions plea

UEFA will not change its rules to allow the six suspended Chelsea and Bayern Munich players to play in the Champions League final despite appeals for clemency from international players' union FIFPro.

• FIFPro urges UEFA leniency
• Mikel wants bans overturned

UEFA has stood firm over the suspensions for those who picked up their third yellow card of the competition in this week's Champions League semi-finals, despite the appeals from FIFPro.

A UEFA spokesman confirmed the decision on Thursday: "The regulations of the competition are established at the beginning of the competition and remain in place for the duration of the season.

"Any changes to the regulations for the future would need to be proposed by the club competitions committee and approved by the UEFA executive committee."

Six first-choice players will miss the final on May 19 due to yellow card suspensions - three from either side. Chelsea will be without Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles, whereas opponents Bayern will be lacking Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo.

Earlier, FIFPro had appealed for UEFA to allow the players to appear in European football's biggest match of the year, insisting it was unfair for players to miss the occasion due to cumulative yellow card suspensions.

FIFPro spokesman Simon Barker said: "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.

"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 license 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.''

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