Martin O’Neill on yellow card accumulation ‘You want to see the best players playing’ | 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Live

Video Details

Alexi Lalas, Clarence Seedorf and Martin O’Neill discuss the yellow card accumulation system at the FIFA World Cup™.

- Switzerland today missing a couple of key players in defense, Lichtsteiner and Schaer. They are both out, suspended because of yellow card accumulation. All three-- sorry. I should have mentioned as well Sweden missing midfielder Seb Larsson. All three of those suspended due to yellow card accumulation. What do you make of the system, Alexi?

- I mean, the simple answer is stop breaking the law. But it is simple. Because the law is interpreted in so many different ways. And it's reflected in the different referees that you have, the different situations that you have. There are soft yellows. There are legitimate yellows.

MARTIN O'NEILL: The biggest tournament in the world, and what you want, you want the people to see the best players playing not just in the final and semifinal, but in the quarterfinals if it's at all possible. And my own ruling is I would change the two yellow cards for the five games that they can get into three yellow cards for the five games, so that it gives you a better chance.

KATE ABDO: Do you reset at any point?

- Pardon?

KATE ABDO: Do you reset?

- Sure. I would reset in the quarterfinals. So in other words, at this moment, if you reach the quarterfinals, you will have played five games.

- Right.

- And you have two yellow cards. I would go for three yellow cards, and then reset it after the quarterfinals. It's giving the players the best opportunity, I think, to be participating. And you totally disagree?

- Yeah. You said, well, You know, I tend to understand your point. And, you know, we have to valuate though that this is the highest stage of football, and we should expect from the players to be able to cope with these rules. You know with two you're out.

So that is also improving on how is your attitude during the match. I would keep it like it is. Maybe we can think about, you know, cleaning it up after the first round. But I think the challenge should also be play at your best, defend at your best without getting the yellow card. That's also--

- You don't think that yellow cards are picked up rather easily in this day and age?

- I actually think that the use of VR could help to make it correct. So correct it at the moment. If it's wrong, you look at, because that happens often. And that has a great impact. Even in the first five minutes, a defender gets a yellow card, which is not a yellow card, and it's not corrected, well, that is, of course, influencing the game heavily. And eventually also, the second match and the third match. But I wouldn't touch it so much. I would expect the players just really step it up.

- That might be a tweak that happens with VR going forward. But we've got to be careful, because it's a slippery slope. There's a lot of things that you could benefit from having technology look at it. We don't want to be stopping every three minutes.