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UEFA won't lift Champions League bans for players

The Champions League final is in Munich on May 19

AP, Wednesday 2 May 2012
Ivanovic
File photo: FC Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, left, duels for the ball against Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic from Serbia during a semifinal second leg Champions League soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain (Photo: AP)
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UEFA will not lift the suspensions preventing six players from appearing in the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea despite an appeal from the global soccer players' union to change the rule.

Bayern's David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo, and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires are serving one-match UEFA bans for picking up their third yellow cards of the competition in the semifinals.

''UEFA said it will not respond to the appeal for clemency for the six players who will have to miss the coming Champions League final because they were awarded a yellow card in the second match of their semifinal,'' FIFPro said in a statement. ''In fact, UEFA states the rule will stay in force for the coming three years.''

A yellow-card amnesty rule already applies after the quarterfinals in UEFA's European Championship and FIFA's World Cup.

''Different rules can apply in different competitions,'' UEFA executive committee member Michael van Praag, who heads the body's Champions League Rules group, said in the FIFPro statement.

Van Praag said UEFA ''did not receive any request whatsoever concerning the yellow card rule, not even from the representative of Bayern Munich.''

The Champions League final is in Munich on May 19.

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