CHICAGO (Tuesday, October 22, 2002) - FIFA Circular 821, dated October 1, 2002, reminds all national associations that any player dismissed from the field is to be automatically suspended from the next match of the competition in which the player was dismissed.
This mandatory suspension is to be enforced for all dismissals (red cards) regardless of the reason and will include send-offs for receiving a second yellow card as well as for actions leading directly to the dismissal. The duration of the suspension can be extended beyond one match by the competition authority.
All national associations are reminded in particular that they may not seek to avoid this binding instruction by passing "exceptional rules," i.e., a provision which creates any sort of exception. The automatic one-match suspension may only be waived if it is proven that the referee dismissed the wrong player in a case of mistaken identity.
In no case may the decision of the referee be modified after the game, as is clearly stated in Law 5 of The Laws of the Game.