London: Manchester United midfielder Nani has been punished with a one-match suspension by the UEFA following his controversial red card against Real Madrid on March 5, although boss Sir Alex Ferguson escaped punishment for refusing to speak to the media after the game with just a fine.
Nani had caught Real Madrid’s Alvaro Arbeloa high on his chest with his studs, but United sources argued he was only trying to control a high ball and had not seen the opposition player, let alone intend to hurt him.
However, Ferguson escaped punishment, getting only a fine of 10, 000 pounds by the UEFA for non-fulfillment of the post-match media obligations at the same match. Ferguson had refused to speak to the media after the game claiming that he was ‘too distraught’ about a decision he felt had cost his team a place in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
UEFA, like the Football Association (FA), is reluctant to withdraw red cards for fear of undermining match officials, but the fact the ban has not been extended is a sign they are keen to draw a line under the matter.
United were winning 1-0 when Nani was sent off, only for Real Madrid to score twice against ten men to set up last eight meeting with Galatasaray.