Following Manchester United’s 2-1 home defeat to Real Madrid under arguably the most controversial of circumstances in the European Cup, BBC Sport are reporting that European Football’s governing body UEFA has begun initial proceedings to bring sanctions upon Manchester United and their players as a result of their conduct towards Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir as well as their decision to avoid post-match media duties.
Sir Alex Ferguson set the tone for what was yet to come from Manchester United when he refused to attend any of the post-match press conferences or interviews with his assistant Mike Phelan completing these duties instead. Mike Phelan described Sir Alex as “too distraught” to address the press and it is little wonder with the quality of the opposition on the night not proving to be United’s downfall but rather a decision that changed the course of the tie. Manchester United’s players continued the precedent set by Sir Alex Ferguson by ignoring all media interaction as they passed through the ‘flash zone’ where all media interviews usually take place after a European tie with Nani in particular being quoted as saying “we are not allowed to say anything” as he walked through hoards of Journalists scrambling for post-match reactions.
As well as the post-match actions from Manchester United there may well be retrospective action taken against United for their behaviour on the field with particular reference to Rio Ferdinand who aimed a clapping gesture at Cuneyt Cakir at the end of the match, however UEFA has thus far refused to mention this in their documentation from last night’s events. Any bans handed out will be served at the beginning of next season’s UEFA Champions League campaign.
UEFA have stated this case will be heard on March 21st just 6 days after the draw for the Quarter Final of the European Cup with Real Madrid being heavily backed favourites following their elimination of Manchester United.
Manchester United following their elimination from the European Cup can now only target success in two domestic competitions with a number of key fixtures coming up in the Premier League and the FA Cup, the first of which being Chelsea at home this Sunday in the FA Cup with the winner earning a trip to Wembley for the semi-final.
As a result of United’s elimination in Europe the derby fixture against Manchester City in the Premier League will now be an 8pm kick off on Monday April 8th.
Mike Phelan in an interview with MUTV last night which surprisingly Sir Alex Ferguson did not take, stated that Sir Alex decided that it would be best if Phelan was to conduct all post-match interviews due to the fact he would be more diplomatic than himself and that had Sir Alex been in front of a camera it would have been more than likely that he wouldn’t have been able keep a cool head.