UEFA ´aware´ of Real duo´s red card controversy

Saturday, November 27, 2010
UEFA announced on Wednesday it was aware of the controversy surrounding the red cards dished out to Real Madrid duo Xabi Alonso and Sergi Ramos in Tuesday’s 4-0 Champions League win at Ajax.

The pair were sent off late in the game for time wasting, with suspicions raised that both had deliberately orchestrated their dismissals in a bid to wipe their disciplinary slates clean before the knockout round.

With Real assured of qualifying for the last 16 as Group G winners it meant Xabi and Ramos will now only miss out on the ‘dead’ tie against Auxerre in their final group game after picking up their second yellow cards of the group stages in Amsterdam.

European football’s governing body is waiting on a match report before taking any eventual action if the World Cup winning pair of Spaniards are found guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour.

“No inquiry has been started at the moment. With regards to the (television) images we will wait to see if they justify a disciplinary inquiry,” UEFA told AFP.

As Wednesday’s game drew to a close midfielder Xabi spent around half a minute deliberating over a free-kick, prompting Scottish referee Craig Thomson to brandish a second yellow card.

Ramos was sent packing for a similar time wasting incident in injury time, shaking hands with the referee on his way to the changing rooms.

Ramos denied any wrongdoing, telling journalists after the match: “We didn’t go looking for the cards. Seeing what the score was, the referee could have saved them. But he sent me off and that’s that.”

Spanish sports daily Marca published photographs of substitute goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek passing information to Iker Casillas who then spoke to Ramos just before his sending off.

Real manager Jose Mourinho, who was shown on Dutch television speaking to Alonso just before his act of time wasting and also to Dudek, also brushed off accusations of skulduggery.

“I spoke with many players throughout the game, not only with Ramos and Alonso,” Mourinho said.

“Stories sell, but the important thing is the 4-0 win and the fantastic game we had. Let’s talk about that and not other things.”


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