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UEFA confirm West Ham star Declan Rice faces risk of semi-final ban ahead of Lyon clash
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UEFA confirm West Ham star Declan Rice faces risk of semi-final ban ahead of Lyon clash

UEFA has confirmed that West Ham star Declan Rice faces the risk of a semi-final ban if he is booked against Lyon and the Hammers progress.

The quarter-final tie is delicately balanced at 1-1 after a first leg in which West Ham played with 10 men for the entirety of the second half.

A huge second leg looms in Lyon on Thursday night with the victors facing either Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona in the semi-final.

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The German side also drew 1-1 at home against Barca in the first leg having being reduced to 10 men.

Both West Ham and Lyon have injury worries ahead of the second leg of the last eight clash.

Kurt Zouma is a major doubt for West Ham and Ben Johnson is also 50-50 with a tight hamstring.

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Aaron Cresswell is suspended having been sent off in the first leg. But West Ham boss David Moyes is boosted by the return of Manuel Lanzini who was suspended for the first leg.

Now ahead of the Lyon clash UEFA has confirmed West Ham star Declan Rice faces a semi-final first leg ban if booked in France.

Rice is facing the serious risk of a Europa League ban against either Barca or Frankfurt should West Ham progress, if he picks up a booking in the second leg against Lyon.

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Changes in UEFA disciplinary rules over the years have led to some confusion over how the suspension system works.

But players booked three times from the Europa League group stages up to and including the quarter-final stage get a one-match ban.

Rice has two bookings to his name in the competition so far. And UEFA has confirmed in its Match Press Kit on its official website (page 11) that another yellow for Rice against Lyon would see him miss the first leg of the semi-final – a home clash against either Barcelona or Frankfurt.

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Rice is the only West Ham player walking a disciplinary tightrope. The bookings rule is wiped clean from the start of the semi-final stage.

The only exception to this is players that incurred a suspension in the second legs of the quarter-finals, thus missing the first leg of the semis.

It’s an awkward situation for Rice. He plays in a position where he has to be physical and make challenges.

And when he can’t do that freely it hinders his game.

But he may have to take one for the team if he wants to drive West Ham into the semi-finals and leave Moyes to deal with his absence for the semi-final first leg if and when it comes to it.

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