FA overhauls disciplinary rules

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The Independent Football

Disciplinary chiefs will be able to take into account the severity of injuries caused by serious fouls when dealing with red card offences in the coming seasons.

The Football Association have announced that bans can be increased - or reduced - by the regulatory commissions who will "take account of a number of important specified factors including intent, force and injury".

The change follows a number of serious injuries suffered by players in recent seasons where the perpetrators were red-carded and received a standard three-match ban.

Newcastle midfielder Danny Guthrie was one example last season when he broke the leg of Hull's Craig Fagan with a reckless challenge, and Birmingham defender Martin Taylor also received a three-game ban for his foul on Arsenal striker Eduardo in February 2008.

An FA statement said: "Clubs can now seek a reduction in the standard punishment for dismissal offences where they feel the punishment is clearly excessive.

"The standard punishment will remain appropriate in the vast majority of cases as this change will only cater for the truly exceptional cases.

"It is not intended for this policy to encourage or lead to the systematic, regular review of standard punishments.

"When considering such cases, independent regulatory commissions will take account of a number of important specified factors including intent, force and injury."

Clubs will not be allowed to simultaneously claim for wrongful dismissal and also seek to reduce the sanction as an alternative. Another change will ensure any bans from red cards shown in pre-season friendlies will not apply to competitive first-team games.

The yellow card amnesty cut-off date will also be brought forward to December 31. Previously, players who collected five yellow cards before the final day in February were given a one-match suspension. This will now only apply if a player reaches five yellow cards before December 31.