Pressure mounts on Euro chiefs to scrap final bans for bookings

EUROPEAN chiefs are coming under increasing pressure to change rules on bookings given to players in competition semi-finals after three players from each of this year’s Champions League finalists, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, were suspended from selection.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern and of the influential European Club Association, has echoed calls from his coach Jupp Heynckes and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel for Continental governing body Uefa to reconsider their regilations so that those given yellow cards in the last four can remain eligible for selection in the final.

“The regulations need to be discussed, and probably should be changed,” said Rummenigge. “This is something we ought to change. But we can’t change it now.”

Fifa amended its rules for the 2010 World Cup to ensure players could not miss the final because of bookings in the semi-finals and players’ union FifPro yesterday joined the growing clamour for Uefa to do the same.

Yellow cards given to Chelsea trio Raul Meireles, Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, and Bayern’s David Alaba, Luiz Gustavo and Holger Badstuber mean all six will miss the 19 May showpiece. Any potential Uefa rule change would not come in time, but could be approved for next season.