Last week’s Champions League games saw two high profile incidents of the ‘triple punishment’, which means that a player gets sent off, concedes a penalty and has to complete a suspension (length varies by competition). This seems harsh considering the player may have fouled their opponent accidentally and since a similar tackle elsewhere on the pitch would usually only result in a yellow card, unless it was particularly dangerous.
In the games last week one of the three punishments can be questioned. Martin Demichelis deserved to be sent off, but it’s debatable whether a penalty should have been given; where as in the case of Wojciech Szczezny, it was a definite penalty but the red card has been called harsh by some members of the football community. The ‘triple punishment’ is only handed out if a player is deemed to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, or guilty of violent conduct. However, a ‘clear goalscoring opportunity’ is hard to define. Szczezny was given a red card, but Robben might have not gone on to score; equally Jerome Boateng fouled Mesut Özil in a similar position, but wasn’t sent off, even though Özil or another player could have gone on to score. Such a big call usually results in the game being, as we saw last week, so I have come up with a possible replacement punishment for the ‘triple punishment’.
Penalty and 10 Minute Sin Bin – This is one area where a sin bin could be introduced without too much difficulty or protest, as it is much better than the alternative of the harsh punishment of losing a player for the rest of the game and likely conceding from the penalty. It would also ensure that the contest isn’t ruined and will mean that we get to see outfielders playing in goal for 10 minutes if the goalkeeper commits the foul.
What do you think of the ‘triple punishment’ and do you have any different ideas?