Michel Platini calls for sin-bins

UEFA president Michel Platini has called for yellow cards to be replaced by a sin-bin.

“I would make it like rugby, punishing the offender with 10 or 15 minutes out of the game,” he said in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS.

“It is an idea. Now it needs to mature and see if it really is good for the game. It is a proposal to be explored.”

Under the existing disciplinary system a player will be suspended for future games if he picks up a certain number of yellow cards spread over several matches, and it is this aspect that most concerns Platini.

Platini believes a sin-bin would be a fairer punishment because “that way, the benefit goes to the team he is playing against, in the same match, instead of a sanction by cards which is carried out against a third team, the next on the calendar”.

It would mean, of course, that when Marouane Fellaini played, Manchester United would play periods of every match with only ten men. The other problem would occur when several players from one side are booked within a short space of time. A match featuring 11 vs 8 would be farcical and would be a disproportionate advantage for the team with a full complement of players.

Platini also addressed the issue of goalkeepers who are punished twice by conceding a penalty and getting sent off.

“It seems excessive,” he said. “The penalty is itself already is punishment enough.

“I think it’s something that everyone in FIFA and UEFA agree, but one or two of the countries that make up the International Board are unwilling to change.”

The UEFA chief also backed the idea of allowing national cup champions to take part in the Champions League – an idea unlikely to gain much traction with the European leagues.

“I agree with this proposal, which we have debated many times,” he said. “But when it comes time to vote, countries that don’t want to cede a place for the cup champion are in the majority.”