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Was Cuneyt Cakir wrong? Did Nani deserve a red card?

March 6, 2013

Red card by Cuneyt Cakir

No, Cuneyt Cakir, a Turkish referee came up with a shocker of a decision when he showed a straight red to the Manchester United winger Nani against Real Madrid an Old Trafford. In recent times this was one of the biggest nights of European Football, which was marred by the controversial red card. The decision came as a surprise to all those seated in Old Trafford and it would not be wrong to assume that many Real Madrid fans knew – to the max the offense only deserved a yellow card.

Cuneyt Cakir showed the red card to Nani for his high boots, which caught the Real Madrid player, Arbeloa on his chest and the Madrid player reaction also did not help the cause. But, this foul committed by Nani was unintentional. With the ball in the air, Nani’s eyes were on the ball and was looking to control the ball and not aware of the incoming Madrid player, who was accidentally kicked to the chest in the act of bringing the ball to his feet.

But, the Turkish referee did not straightaway flash his red card, but it was only after consultation with the other referee that Cuneyt Cakir showed him the dreaded red card. So, it would not be fair to jump on the Turkish referee alone. As the red card was shown, there were very few who could believe what had just unfurled. There was an uproar from the Manchester United fans, where Sir Alex Ferguson also jumped out of his seat and ran to the touch line red faced with anger, screaming at the fourth referee. Even the commentators did not approve of the decision and said it was an awful decision. Nani could not believe the decision, as he lay motionless for few seconds with hands tied to the head.

Manchester United was leading 1-0 in the second leg, but after the red card incident, Mourinho made a tactical move by bringing in Luka Modric and strengthen their offense. Modric responded very well as he found the back of the net and later on Cristiano Ronaldo scored a winner, thus igniting the red card issue even more. Real Madrid won the match 2-1 and the score on aggregate read, 3-2. Had Nani not been shown the red card, the result could have been much different, which can be read from the words of Mourinho during the Press conference, where he said, “the best team lost.”

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