Man United’s Van Persie: Nani red shouldn’t even have been a free-kick

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie claims Nani's red card against Real Madrid was not even worthy of a free-kick

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Nani was sent off against Real Madrid earlier this month Photo: The Sport Review

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Robin van Persie claims Nani’s tackle that earned him a red card in Manchester United’s clash with Real Madrid was “not even a free-kick” and has branded Uefa “cowards” for supporting the referee’s decision.

With United leading 1-0 at Old Trafford, Nani was given his marching orders by referee Cuneyt Cakir in the second half before Madrid scored twice to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“That red card was heavily unjustified,” Van Persie told Algemeen Dagblad.

“It was not even a yellow card or a free-kick. Nani couldn’t do anything about it, he hardly touched [Alvaro] Arbeloa.

“The worst thing is that Uefa supports him. That’s cowardly, because I really don’t understand it. Why don’t they just be honest and say: ‘He hasn’t seen it’?

“I didn’t understand before the game that this man would be the referee, such an unknown referee who hasn’t been in charge of a big games for months.

“Even the guys from Madrid told me afterwards that it was not a red card.”

Nani will at least get a one-match ban from Uefa as a result of his sending off, while Sir Alex Ferguson is also facing disciplinary action after failing to report for his post-match media duties.

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