The players of the twelve participants in the European qualifying playoffs for the soccer World Cup will go into the games in March without the risk of an imminent yellow card suspension for the finals.
The world governing body FIFA confirmed a report by the AP news agency, according to which individual warnings from the group stage of qualification will be deleted. This means that no national player would miss a possible final match for the finals in Qatar (21 November to 18 December) because of a warning received in the semi-finals.
The twelve nations, including European champions Italy and Portugal, will play in six semi-finals at the end of March to qualify for three finals. The winners of the finals make the jump to the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar at the end of the year. However, players who have already been suspended and have seen two yellow cards in the group stage will not benefit from the regulation. This applies, for example, to star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who – if he were called up – would miss Sweden in the semifinals against the Czech Republic.