December 5, 2013 / 4:28 PM / 5 years ago

Platini calls for sin bins to replace yellow cards

BARCELONA (Reuters) - European soccer chief Michel Platini wants yellow cards to be replaced by a rugby-style system of sin bins.

Michel Platini, UEFA President walks in front of the UEFA EURO 2016 logo at a news conference in Paris June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Platini, the president of governing body UEFA, said on Thursday he would also like the winner of national cup competitions to be rewarded with a place in the Champions League.

“I would change the system of cautions,” Platini told Spanish newspaper AS.

“I would do it like in rugby, where the perpetrator would be punished by being off the pitch for 10 or 15 minutes of the game.

“That means the team they are facing would benefit in the same match and it would be instead of a ban for accumulation of cards against another side later in the season.

“It is an idea which needs now to be developed and to see if it is something that would be good for the game.”

Under the current system, players are suspended when they accumulate a certain number of yellow cards over a period of the season.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter poured cold water on Platini’s idea later on Thursday.

“I cannot see why we should change something in match control when we have already established all the regulations,” Blatter told a news conference in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil, where the world’s governing body is meeting ahead of Friday’s draw for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Platini, the former France captain, said there was not enough support for the idea of giving national cup winners a place in the following season’s Champions League. At present, teams gain qualification to the Champions League via their position in domestic league competitions.

“It is something we have debated a lot, but when it comes to voting the countries in the majority are those which don’t want to lose a place in the league for the cup winner,” he said.

“In Spain the cup has tradition like in other important countries, but it’s not the case in all and in some there isn’t even a cup.”

Platini also agreed that the punishments handed down when a goalkeeper concedes a penalty - a spot-kick, the sending off of the keeper, and a subsequent suspension - are too harsh.

“It is too excessive,” he said. “The penalty is enough. I think it is something that all in Fifa and Uefa agree but there are one or two countries that are in the International Board that don’t want to change it.”

Platini said he had improved the game in Europe since taking over as UEFA president in 2007.

“I have worked to improve the game by asking for three changes: the pass-back rule, the red card for the last defender, and the introduction of goal-line officials ... “ he said. “I think I have done plenty to improve the game with these rule changes.”

Editing by Stephen Wood

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