World Cup ban? Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, England players at risk of suspension

Posted Friday, June 29, 2018 by

World Cup ban? Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, England players at risk of suspension
Cristiano Ronaldo is one booking away from a ban at the World Cup

Disciplinary points did not decide England's group in the end but the risk of suspension remains for several players at the last-16 stage.

Players at the 2018 World Cup will be banned for one match if they pick up two yellow cards before the semi-final stage.

England have one of the best fair-play records at the tournament, with just two players booked so far.

And though Ruben Loftus-Cheek - cautioned against Panama - avoided a booking in the 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Thursday, punishment for him or Kyle Walker against Colombia would mean missing a quarter-final clash, should England make it.

When are bookings wiped?

Bookings will be scrubbed from players' records after the quarter-final stage, meaning no one will go into the semi-final fearing a yellow could end their hopes of appearing in a World Cup final.

A player would only miss the final through suspension if they were sent off in a last-four tie.

Who else could be suspended?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are on a collision course for a quarter-final showdown, should Argentina beat France and Portugal beat Uruguay - but imagine if both men were stuck on the sidelines?

It could happen - Messi was booked late on for time wasting against Nigeria in Argentina's final group game, while Ronaldo saw yellow - and was perhaps fortunate not to be shown a red - for throwing his arm at his marker against Iran.

Brazil pair Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, and France's Paul Pogba are other high-profile players one mis-timed tackle away from missing a vital match for their sides.

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