Dani Carvajal Tried To Game The System And Got Caught
Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal thought he was being clever. In the waning moments of a 6-0 victory over APOEL on Nov. 21, Carvajal decided to hold the ball instead of throwing it back into play. The referee didn’t like this time wasting and showed him a yellow card. It was Carvajal’s fifth yellow of the Champions League campaign, meaning he would be suspended for the Borussia Dortmund match, but he would be available for the knockout rounds, for which Real Madrid had already qualified.
UEFA didn’t buy it. On Thursday, Carvajal was banned for an additional match and will now miss the first leg of the Round of 16 for deliberately picking up a yellow card.
UEFA rules stipulate a two-match suspension for “clearly receiving a yellow or red card on purpose” in Article 15.c. Carvajal clearly earned the yellow card on purpose so it was a pretty clear-cut case.
Here’s video of Carvajal’s yellow-card infraction.
Al final la Uefa mete dos partidos a Carvajal por esto. Lógico y normal. No se puede ser más ridículo. Merecidísimos pic.twitter.com/5Ursjl5ppz— Los robos del Madrid (@RobosRealMadrid) December 7, 2017
It was pretty clear Carvajal wasn’t going to throw the ball in until he picked up a yellow card. Unfortunately for him and Real Madrid, he wasn’t as clever as he thought. The two-match suspension will stretch the Madrid defense in the next round. After finishing second behind Tottenham, Los Blancos will be drawn against a group winner, meaning they’ll likely need every body they can get.
Carvajal’s actions aren’t really justifiable by any means. Sure, picking up a yellow against APOEL and missing out on a chance to get flayed by Christian Pulisic in a meaningless match meant he would be available for both legs of the Round of 16, but two yellows in those matches would see him suspended for a match in the quarterfinals.
Per Champions League regulations, a player is suspended for a match after receiving a third yellow card in the competition. He then receives another match suspension for each odd-numbered yellow card (fifth, seventh, ninth, etc.). Yellow cards do not wipe out until after the quarterfinals, so Carvajal would still be two professional fouls away from being suspended for an even more important match.
But that’s the risk you take when you try to game the system. Carvajal got caught, so now he’ll be suspended for a match when the Champions League returns in February.