FIFA have changed the rules when it comes to serving suspensions for yellow cards at the World Cup. Previously, players who had one yellow card during the group stages had that infraction cleared for the knockout rounds, but now they will stand for one more round, until the quarterfinals.

It might seem like a small change, but given that there are three matches in the group stages and four in the knockout rounds, it will change the dynamics a little bit. This means that players from teams who reach far into the competition will have less worries about getting two yellow cards and missing important games such as the semi-final or final. At the same time, they have to be even more careful during the group stages, or they might miss the round of 16 or quarterfinals.

There are those that will say that every round is important and no one wants to miss any games, which is true, but I think this change is more practical. Yes, not being able to help your team in the quarterfinal is bad, but missing a final for what might be a silly or undeserved booking truly is heart-breaking. That sort of thing happened to former Germany captain Michael Ballack, who helped his country progress to the final in 2002, but had to miss it because of bookings in the round of 16 and semi-final.

Best way to ensure you don’t miss any games? Don’t get booked at all.


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