This is a continuation of my series on the CONCACAF Champions League Rules and Regulations document, focusing on the disciplinary regulations and the penalties that can be applied to participating clubs and players. These clauses can be found in Sections 3, 5, 6, 12, and 13.
If a team withdraws from the CCL by failing to participate in any match, that side will incur the following penalties, increasing in severity with the stage at which the withdrawal occurs (Sect. 3.11, 3.16):
| Before Preliminary Round draw
|| US$5,000 + entry fees
|After Preliminary Round draw, but before|
matches are played
|US$7,500 + entry fees|
|Preliminary Round||US$10,000 + entry fees|
|Group Stage||US$15,000 + entry fees|
|Knockout rounds||US$20,000 + entry fees|
|FIFA Club World Cup||US$100,000 + FIFA fines|
In addition, the withdrawn club has to reimburse the following organizations for expenses incurred, damages, and losses stemming from withdrawal (Sect. 3.14):
- The local organizing committee
- The opposing club (or clubs in the Group Stage)
And to top it off, the withdrawn club is barred from CONCACAF club competitions for the next two years that it is eligible (Sect. 6.7).
A team can incur a 0-3 penalty result for the following:
- Failing to appear at, start, or finish a match (Sect. 3.12)
- Playing a match with an ineligible player (Sect. 5.12)
If the match is abandoned, and the other team is winning by more than three goals, that result will stand instead.
The following are the penalties for players:
- Sent off in the field of play: one-match suspension, valid from the next CONCACAF club match
- Two yellow cards in separate matches: suspension from the following CCL match (the caution slate is wiped clean at the end of the Group Stage)
- Un-served penalties for red cards or yellow card accumulations are carried over to the following CCL season
There are also penalties for other infractions by players and/or club officials against the regulations, for example
- Doping (Sect. 7.1)
- Unsporting behavior (Sect. 6.2)
- Disparaging remarks about the CCL (Sect. 13.5)
There is a CONCACAF Disciplinary Committee in place to hear disciplinary cases and consider appeals, but the following decisions are not subject to appeal:
- Cautions and censures
- Suspensions of up to two matches, or up to two months
- Fines to players and club officials less than US$10,000
- Fines to national associations less than US$30,000
Protests must be submitted in writing (along with a US$500 payment to CONCACAF) under the proper time windows for the following type of protest:
- Player eligibility - no later than (NLT) 2 hours after the match conclusion
- Match incidents - immediately after the incident by the team captain, in writing to the Match Commissioner NLT 2 hours after match conclusion
- Playing surface/equipment - NLT start of match by team official
The referee's decision on the field is considered as final.
The losing party of the protest may have to pay the appeal fees, and once the champion of the CCL has been named, all existing protests are null and void.
This concludes my look at the disciplinary regulations in the CONCACAF Champions League, and this also concludes my series on the regulations document. In a future post I'd like to look at how CONCACAF measures up -- on paper -- to the other Champions League competitions in the other confederations.