When Are Yellow Cards Wiped Out In The Champions League This Year?

Everything you need to know about yellow card accumulation rules in the 2020-2021 Champions League.

In 2020, UEFA hastily amended its men’s Champions League yellow-card accumulation rules after deciding to play the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds as single legs upon returning from a Covid-19 hiatus. This begs the question: When are yellow cards wiped out in the Champions League for the 2020-21 season?

In the men’s Champions League, any player who receives three yellow cards is suspended for the next match. At some point during the competition, yellow-card accumulation is cleared.

The 2019-20 competition, which was not completed until August after the soccer world shut down for the novel coronavirus pandemic, forced UEFA to make a few rules changes to ensure both player safety and the quality of football on display. In addition to allowing five substitutes per match, yellow cards were wiped out after the Round of 16, in part because quarterfinals and semifinals were no longer two-legged affairs. 

So with the 2020-21 Champions League reaching its climax, it’s worth revisiting when yellow cards reset. 

When Are Yellow Cards Wiped In The Champions League (2020-2021)

Before the start of the 2020-21 Champions League, UEFA confirmed a few changes would be kept from the end of the 2020 tournament. Clubs would retain the ability to make five substitutions per match (up from three) with 23 players allowed on the game-day squad (up from 18). 

One thing that won’t be retained is when yellow cards are wiped. 

So when are yellow cards wiped in the Champions League in 2021? As it has been for years, after the quarterfinals. Yellow cards are not carried over into the semifinals. 

The reason for this timing is to give players the best opportunity to play in the final, should they make it. By wiping cards after the quarterfinals, the only way a player misses the final is via a red card. 

Heading into the second legs of the quarterfinals, the players who are on two yellow cards and could be suspended for the first leg of the semifinals should their team advance are:

  • PSG: Neymar, Presnel Kimpembe, Marco Verratti, Layvin Kurzawa
  • Bayern Munich: Marc Roca, Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Lucas Hernández
  • Porto: Medhi Taremi, Chancel Mbemba
  • Liverpool: Sadio Mané James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum
  • Manchester City: João Cancelo, Fernandinho
  • Real Madrid: Ferland Mendy, Federico Valverde
  • Chelsea: Mateo Kovačić, Hakim Ziyech
  • Borussia Dortmund: Emre Can, Erling Haaland

The yellow-card rules were amended ahead of the 2014-15 competition. Prior to the change, some of the world’s best players missed Champions League finals over yellow cards picked up in the semifinals. UEFA decided the final was the most important match and changed the rules to their current status to ensure no one misses the final over yellow cards. 


When Are Yellow Cards Wiped In Champions League (2020-2021)

Yellow cards are cleared after the Champions League quarterfinals. 

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