Harry Redknapp slams Joe Jordan Uefa ban

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp today slammed UEFA for banning Joe Jordan from the first leg of Tottenham's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Spurs were shocked to hear yesterday that the Scot would be barred from the first leg of next month's Champions League clash - the draw for which paired Tottenham with Jose Mourinho's side today.

UEFA confirmed yesterday that Jordan had been charged with improper conduct for his clash with AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso during Spurs' 1-0 win in the San Siro on February 15. The pair were involved in a heated touchline exchange during the match and Gattuso headbutted the 59-year-old as tempers frayed after.

Gattuso received a four-match ban for his actions, and claims he headbutted Jordan because he racially insulted him - an accusation that the Scot denies.

Jordan's refusal to physically respond to Gattuso's rage while the two squared up earned him praise and Redknapp is adamant that he does not deserve to be banned.

"How Joe has got a one match man, I don't know. What has he done?" Redknapp said.

"It just doesn't make sense to me. The man's done nothing wrong."

Jordan has until Sunday evening to appeal against the ban, which under UEFA rules, means that he must watch the game from the stands and not communicate with the team during the match.

"Others have been banned for one game for arguing with referees and Joe's done nothing. He doesn't deserve that," Redknapp added.

"It's completely and utterly wrong and if there is an appeal system we should appeal."

Tottenham may have seen off Inter and AC Milan, but they could hardly have been paired with a tougher opponent in the last eight than nine-time European champions Real.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Iker Casillas among their ranks, they will surely provide Redknapp's team with their sternest test of the competition so far.

To make matters worse for the Londoners, should they upset the odds and beat Real, they are likely to meet favourites Barcelona in the semi-finals.

But for Redknapp, who inherited a team at the bottom of the league when he took over two and a half years ago, the two legs are something he is looking forward to.

"It's a fantastic draw, what a game to look forward to," he said.

"Real Madrid are one of the greatest names in world football.

"They are a great side and these are great days to have in your life and they are great days in Tottenham Hotspur's history. You want to manage in these games and play in these games. The fans want them too so it couldn't be better."

Facing Redknapp in the opposite dugout during the clashes on April 5 and 13 will be a formidable opponent who is looking to become the first manager to win the Champions League with three clubs.

Mourinho, who picked up six trophies during a three-year spell at Chelsea, has always made his love for the English game clear, and has already declared his happiness with the draw.

Redknapp lost all five of his clashes with Mourinho during the Portuguese's time in England but the former Portsmouth manager is looking forward to seeing the charismatic character again.

"It will be good to see him. He was amazing for English football when he came," Redknapp said.

"He was a fantastic coach and a great manager, a real personality that lit the Premier League up when he was here.

"He's a great personality, has a great knowledge of the game and is an amazing manager - one of the all time great managers. Look what he achieved with Inter and Porto, to win the Champions League twice.

"I fancied Inter Milan to win it last year just because he was there."

Redknapp is convinced that his team can pull of a shock result though despite the odds being stacked against them.

"If we can get a good result in first leg we have a chance to qualify," said Redknapp, whose team play West Ham tomorrow.

"Madrid have great players but we have good players who can hurt them and they will know that."

Spurs have been boosted by the news that Gareth Bale is likely to make his first start in two months against the Hammers tomorrow.

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