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CONCACAF delivers amnesty to de Guzman and Dunfield

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The Canadian men’s national team got a bit of good news Monday. CONCACAF announced that, after discussions with FIFA, the decision has been made to wipe away the yellow cards accumulated by players during the first two rounds of World Cup qualifying.

And that means Canadian midfielders Terry Dunfield and Julian de Guzman, who had a yellow each from the previous round of qualifying, will enter the next phase of World Cup matches with clean slates. So, neither player will be walking a tightrope when he next plays for Canada in an official qualifying match.

Had the cards not been wiped clean, Dunfield or de Guzman would have faced suspensions had either picked up another yellow. And that’s important considering how easily cards get brandished in CONCACAF matches, right? After all, yellows are given for just looking at the referee the wrong way…

Or is that necessarily true? Or is that just a myth Canadian fans like to believe? Just a quick comparison: the 2010 World Cup averaged 4.07 cards per game. The 2006 World Cup averaged way more than five cards a game. The 2011 English Premier League is averaging 3.16 cards per game so far this 2011-12 season. CONCACAF’s 2011 Gold Cup averaged four cards per game, even. That’s more than the EPL averages this season, but is far less than we’ve seen in comparable international competitions.

Still, it’s decent to see all CONCACAF players get the amnesty. The risk of getting suspended because cards carry over multiple rounds was a ridiculous practice. A player should not be suspended for picking up a yellow for a clumsy challenge in 2011 and then getting caught time-wasting in 2013. Two yellows over the course of years does not make for a dirty player.

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