Uefa open proceedings against United
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson reacts after Nani was sent off during the Champions League match against Real Madrid at Old Trafford. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Soccer:Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United over Nani’s red card and the non-fulfilment of post-match media obligations at last night’s Champions League match with Real Madrid, the European governing body has confirmed.
Manager Alex Ferguson reacted angrily after Nani was sent off for a high challenge on Madrid’s Alvaro Arbeloa in the 56th minute of the match, which United were leading 1-0 at the time. But with the man advantage, Madrid came back to win 2-1 on the night, 3-2 on aggregate.
Ferguson did not appear for interviews after the match, with his assistant Mike Phelan attending the post-match press conference and saying the manager was too “distraught” to speak, while the players did not stop to talk in the mixed zone.
Uefa issued a short statement today confirming disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the club regarding the two incidents.
“The case will be dealt with by the Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday 21 March,” the statement said.
Champions League rules oblige managers to speak to the media after every match.
Phelan had suggested he was at least likely to adopt a more diplomatic stance than his boss, who might have risked an even heavier sanction had he said in public what he thought in private.
Today’s statement from Uefa made no mention of defender Rio Ferdinand, who sarcastically applauded Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir after the final whistle when the players surrounded the officials.
Uefa has already released a statement insisting it had no issues regarding Cakir’s performance.
“There are no issues for us regarding the sending off,” said a Uefa spokesman.
Ferguson is due to speak to the media on Friday ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea.