NYON: European football federation UEFA is extending to its club competitions the Euro 2024 rule insisting that only a team captain can talk to the referee.

Any player at this summer’s tournament who approaches the referee other than the captain is shown a yellow card and this will be the case in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League next season.

The initiative has brought a vast increase in bookings, with 166 yellow cards handed out in the group stage compared with 98 during the same period at Euro 2020.

A UEFA statement said said the new rules have improved the “image of football” and helped to “convey” respect. It added: “Starting with the new season of club competitions ready to kick off next week, this approach will be extended to all matches in UEFA competitions.”