UEFA changes bookings rule

UEFA has announced that bookings accrued throughout continental competitions will expire after the quarter-finals.

The UEFA Emergency Panel met on Wednesday, and have decided to implement the rule following a suggestion from the UEFA Club Competitions Committee.

Such a system is already in use in the UEFA European Championships, and will now be adopted in the Champions League and Europa League from this season.

"Following a recommendation by the UEFA Club Competitions Committee - in order to implement in UEFA club competitions a rule which is already in force in the UEFA European Football Championship - the Emergency Panel decided that, as of this season, all yellow cards from the beginning of the group stage will expire on completion of the quarter-finals," read a statement.

"Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to the semi-finals."

Previously a player would have missed one match of the competition if three yellow cards were received from the group stages through to the semi-finals.

The new rules mean there will be no repeat of last season's scenario where Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso was suspended for the Champions League final with rivals Atletico Madrid.

Alonso received three bookings throughout the tournament, the last of which came in Real's semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

Under the new ruling, Alonso would be allowed to play as his previous cautions would have expired.