Blatter Supports Idea of Three Yellow Cards

From the Associated Press

FIFA President Sepp Blatter supports a new booking system that would allow players to receive three yellow cards in a round at the World Cup before they're suspended for a match.

With record numbers of red and yellow cards handed out at this World Cup, Blatter said Tuesday it would be a "very wise suggestion" to amend the existing rules.

Getting two cautions in a match brings an automatic ejection and a one-match ban. Two cautions across three matches in the first round, or two in the whole knockout round, result in a one-match suspension.

"In some leagues, the suspension comes after three, four or five cautions -- in the World Cup, we should go further," Blatter said. "This would avoid players in the semifinals on one yellow card who, by bad luck, may get a second and cannot play in the final."

That was the case for Germany midfielder Michael Ballack at the 2002 World Cup.

A tournament record 27 red cards and 334 yellows had been issued after 61 of the 64 matches at Germany 2006. Referees have come under heavy criticism for issuing cautions early in matches to impose authority and then having no choice but to book players again for incidents that would not be as heavily punished in national league competitions.


In his first public comments since being sent off against Portugal in the quarterfinals, England's Wayne Rooney says he was "gobsmacked" when referee Horacio Elizondo produced a red card.

The incident occurred in the 62nd minute when Rooney broke through two tacklers, then stomped on the prone Ricardo Carvalho's groin. England went on to lose in a penalty shootout.

"I remember the incident clearly and have seen it several times since on TV," the Manchester United striker said in a statement. "I am of the same opinion now as I was at the time, that what happened didn't warrant a red card.

"If anything I feel we should have had a free kick for the fouls committed on me during the same incident."

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