UEFA referees urged to avoid the “triple punishment”

European referees have been instructed by UEFA to avoid the “triple punishment” and not show the red card to players who commit an offence punishable by a penalty kick while being the last defender, as yet reflect the Laws of the Game. The request was made by the UEFA president himself, Michel Platini, who considers that the faults committed within the penalty area should be punished with a penalty kick and deserve the same card if the offender committed the foul in any other area of the field. According to this new interpretation, a nudge in the penalty area would still be punished by a penalty kick and the red card plus the player’s suspension, while a push within the same area would be punished with a penalty kick and only a yellow card. It would also only a yellow offence and a penalty kick if the goalkeeper fouls the opposing striker, which today is punishable by a penalty, red card and suspension for the next game.
The UEFA Executive Committee meeting held in Bilbao on 12 December 2013 agreed to raise the issue with FIFA in order to make a proposal to the International Board to change the rule known as the “triple punishment”: penalty kick, expulsion and subsequent suspension. UEFA president, Michel Platini, stated ​​in an interview with AS, last November, that "the punishment is excessive and still more aggravated when the offender is the goalkeeper, as the last defender. The penalty is enough penance". Platini asked Blatter asked to remove the “triple punishment”, but the FIFA president referred the matter to the next meeting of the International Board (IFAB), scheduled for March 2014. The leader of the UEFA does not want to wait that long and has instructed the referees to change their approach in these situations, in order to start preparing for the change by IFAB, which is traditionally slow in making decisions. The new interpretation will be applied by the European referees in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, in order to support the rule change.

Source: AS