UEFA changes bookings rule in boost for finalists

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) - Players will no longer be suspended for Champions League and Europa League finals for accumulating yellow cards.

European football’s governing body has decided to wipe out players’ bookings after the quarterfinals of club competitions.

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso was suspended for the Champions League final in May after picking up a third knockout phase booking in the second leg of his team’s semifinal.

UEFA said in a statement on Thursday its “emergency panel decided that, as of this season, all yellow cards from the beginning of the group stage will expire on completion of the quarterfinals. Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to the semifinals.”

That rule is already in force in the European Championship.

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