MANCHESTER United’s frustration at being dumped out of the Champions League on Tuesday was compounded last night when European governing body Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings against the club.
United face sanctions over manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s refusal to attend the mandatory post-match media conference, as well as for the red card controversially shown to winger Nani in the 3-2 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid.
A fine is the most likely punishment should Uefa find the Premier League leaders guilty, although it is understood that defender Rio Ferdinand is unlikely to face action for sarcastically clapping referee Cuneyt Cakir after the final whistle. Ferguson’s assistant Mike Phelan told the Press that the United boss would not be speaking because he was “distraught” at the defeat, which hinged on Nani’s straight red card for a high challenge.
The Scot leapt from his seat in the dugout upon the decision and marched to the touchline, where he gesticulated at the Turkish referee and made his views known to the fourth official.
United also failed to provide two players to speak to media after the game at Old Trafford, which they lost 2-1, another breach of Uefa rules. A disciplinary panel will rule on the case on 21 March.