Hearts captain Christophe Berra wants SFA disciplinary rules changed

Hearts captain Christophe Berra will miss the final game of the season through suspension. Picture: SNS
Hearts captain Christophe Berra will miss the final game of the season through suspension. Picture: SNS
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Christophe Berra has approached PFA Scotland in an attempt to change player disciplinary rules as he prepares to sit out Hearts’ final league game through suspension.

A sixth yellow card received at Pittodrie last month triggered an automatic one-match ban, leaving the Scotland centre-back sidelined for Sunday’s trip to Kilmarnock.

Berra believes expecting players to incur less than six yellow cards is unrealistic. He wants the Scottish Football Association to look at the discipline system in England, which sees yellow cards wiped at certain stages of the campaign to give players clean records and a fresh start.

He has held talks with Stuart Lovell at PFA Scotland in a bid to add weight to his campaign and force through a change in how cautions are handled and processed in future.

“I’ll miss the last game through suspension because you can only get six yellow cards throughout the season. Those are the rules. I mentioned it to Stuart Lovell at PFA Scotland earlier in the season and I think he’s brought it up,” Berra told the Evening News.

“Down in England, you get your cards wiped halfway through so I think they might look into that. It would be fair.

“It’s a tough season and to go through it all, playing every game, then miss the last one because of a sixth yellow card is frustrating. The league is competitive.”

Adding to Berra’s frustration is the fact he has been an ever-present for Hearts this season, his first since returning to his formative club. He will now be denied the chance to play every minute of the campaign when his ban kicks in.

“When I was in the Championship, bookings are wiped at different stages of the campaign. It’s maybe something they are looking to do up here to give players a bit more leeway,” added the Tynecastle captain.

Berra is determined to ensure his final game is a successful one this evening.

Hearts host Hibs at Tynecastle in the fifth and final Edinburgh derby of the campaign. The Easter Road club are pursuing a second-place finish in their first season back in Scotland’s top flight.

Hearts’ motivation is to stop them and, in turn, give their supporters a modicum of satisfaction as the curtain comes down.

Berra knows season 2017/18 has fallen short of the targets he and his colleagues set last summer.

Nonetheless. he is eager to finish on a personal high with a win against Hibs.

“To have your last game at home against your bitter rivals, and to win, would be a great way to finish the season. Especially when we’ve had a very inconsistent and disappointing season by our standards.”