Last week’s Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid was destined to provide a bounty of high profile headlines. The match didn’t disappoint.
Hours before the players took the pitch, the first of many heated debates started. Some fans were fuming over Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to keep Wayne Rooney out of the starting XI, while others trusted their legendary manager.
However, fans quickly forgot this seemingly trivial managerial decision in the 56th minute. The turning point of the star-studded match did not come from either squad, but rather referee Cuneyt Cakir. His decision to show Nani a questionable red card transformed the momentum at Old Trafford. United, who held a 1-0 lead at the time, would concede twice in the next 13 minutes.
When the final whistle blew, the score was 2-1. Manchester United was eliminated from Champions League play, and the debate began. Was Cuneyt Cakir right to send off Nani?
After a week of polling, FootballFanCast.com readers have spoken. The fans have decided the red card was unwarranted. The debate was close with 54% disagreeing, with Cakir’s call and 46% supporting the referee’s decision to send Nani off.
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Manchester fan Karl Kjærvik suggested Real Madrid’s Alvaro Arbeloa was the guilty player in the collision. He commented, “Nani watched the ball – Arbeloa came in partly from behind. He saw the situation coming up and could have avoided it.”
Tim Finnie, a Manchester City fan, argued it was irresponsible for the referee to play such a large role in a highly anticipated match. He sympathised with City’s fierce rivals, commenting “The referee has to think about the game that is being played. It was United against Real Madrid. how often does that happen? Do I want to destroy the spectacle that is this game? Having looked at the incident many times, I do not think Nani should have been red carded.”
Akinola Aleke represented the minority decision and fully supported the referee’s decision, commenting “It’s a straight red, Nani’s spikes were up.”
What’s your view?
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