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Do suspensions carry over into the Premier League? Rules explained

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Despite the best intentions of its mystique and magic, the modern history of the FA Cup is deeply intertwined with the Premier League.

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Since 2004, there has been just one finalist from outside England’s top flight (Cardiff City lost to Portsmouth in 2008). West Ham were the last team below the First Division to win the trophy when they lifted the cup in 1980.

Yet, the rules of these interlinked competitions can be difficult to extract – especially after undergoing excessive tinkering in recent years. Here’s everything you need to know about the rules regarding suspensions in the FA Cup and Premier League.

Since the 2019/20 campaign, yellow cards in English domestic football are contained to the competition they were awarded in. If a player is booked in consecutive FA Cup games they will be suspended for their club’s next FA Cup tie. But the same indisciplined individual would be available to play in the Premier League.

The same rule extends across England’s domestic competitions. If a player is handed a yellow-card suspension in the Premier League, they will be available for the next cup game, be that in the FA Cup or its Carabao equivalent.

In the past, players could have timed their ban-inducing yellow card so that they could serve their league suspension during a cup tie. This is no longer the case.

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Red cards are a different matter altogether. If a player is red-carded in an FA Cup tie, that carries over to the Premier League – or whatever domestic competition immediately follows their sending-off.

Aston Villa’s Leander Dendoncker was the only Premier League player to receive his marching orders in the FA Cup third round. The Belgium international was sent off before Stevenage mounted a dramatic comeback at Villa Park and was forced to sit out the visit of Leeds United in the Premier League the following week.

If a player is handed a three-game suspension in the FA Cup, that will be served across the club’s next three matches in domestic competition, whatever tournament that may be.

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