• Champions League

UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Utd

ESPN staff
March 6, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson could be punished for refusing to speak to the press after Tuesday's defeat © PA Photos

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United and manager Sir Alex Ferguson, following the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The European football body has opened an investigation into Nani's controversial red card, while the club's failure to fulfil post-match media obligations will also be examined.

Ferguson did not speak to the press following the final whistle - assistant Mike Phelan appeared in his stead and said the Scot was too "distraught" to speak - while no United players stopped for journalists in the mixed zone at Old Trafford.

Ferguson was furious with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for dismissing Nani after his high boot made contact with Alvaro Arbeloa as they contested a ball in the second half of their last-16 tie at Old Trafford.

The home side were leading 1-0 at the time, a goal Nani helped to create, and his red card dramatically altered the game, Real scoring twice in three minutes as they sealed a quarter-final berth thanks to a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Managers of both sides are contractually obliged to face the press after the match but Ferguson sent Phelan in his place.

Consequently, UEFA has confirmed disciplinary proceedings against the club for the non-fulfilment of post-match media obligations, and over Nani's red card offence.

A short statement added: "The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday 21 March."

UEFA's statement made no mention of defender Rio Ferdinand, who sarcastically applauded Cakir after the final whistle when United's players surrounded the officials.

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