UEFA has confirmed they have "no problem" with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir, after the controversial red card for Nani. The referee produced a straight red for the Portugal international on Tuesday evening, during Manchester United's Champions League knock-out tie against Real Madrid, for what was seen as a dangerous tackle on Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa.
At the time, United were leading 1-0 on the night (a Sergio Ramos own goal) and 2-1 on aggregate (the first leg, at the Santiago Bernabeu, finished 1-1). However, within 12 minutes of Nani's ejection, Madrid were leading 2-1. Ex-Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric scored the first and Cristiano Ronaldo scored the second.
The match finished with that score and Jose Mourinho's Madrid snuck past a furious Sir Alex Ferguson 3-2 on aggregate. And now, according to a report by the Guardian, UEFA will take no action and conduct no investigation into Cakir's performance.
"We have no problem with him," UEFA have been quoted, "There are no issues for us regarding the sending off and we will wait for the official reports of the match delegate and the referee's observer, as is procedure. If they raise concerns then we will act."
In addition, UEFA have also confirmed an automatic one-match suspension for Nani, which will come into effect for the next European game he is eligible for. United, of course, retain the right to appeal but they cannot do so until UEFA's disciplinary panel meet.
Cakir, an insurance agent by profession, has also been backed by former United midfielder and ex-Irish international, Roy Keane. The 41-year-old has been quoted as saying: "The referee has made the right call. It's dangerous play, it's a red card. He knows there are other footballers on the pitch."
Quarter Final Draw
Meanwhile, Madrid await the draw for the quarter finals, which will be held at Nyon in Switzerland, on 15 March. Madrid and Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are the first teams to have qualified for the next round.
Italian champions Juventus are heavy favourites to join them on Wednesday evening, when they host Scottish side Celtic in Italy; Juve have a 3-0 lead from the first leg at Celtic Park.
The second Round of 16 tie scheduled this week is that between Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain and Spanish side Valencia; the first leg, in Spain, finished 2-1 in favour of the French.
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