Manchester United striker Robin van Persie labels Uefa 'cowards' over Nani's Champions League red card

Manchester United were beaten by Real Madrid in the last-16 encounter

Robin van Persie is still smarting over the controversial red card that contributed to Manchester United's Champions League exit.

During the tie against Real Madrid earlier this month, Nani was sent off for a high collision with Alvero Arbeloa. United were leading the match 2-1 on aggregate at the time but would eventually lose 3-2.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir was heavily criticised in the aftermath of the game, although it was argued that by the letter of the law, Nani's high foot was a red card offence.

Yet van Persie is still frustrated at the decision, and Uefa's response.

"That red card was heavily unjustified," said United's leading goalscorer. "It was not even a yellow card or a free kick. Nani couldn’t do anything about it, he hardly touched 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?'.

Following the match Uefa said they had no issue with Cakir and that the referee would remain eligible to officiate further matches in Europe this season.

The Netherlands international went on to question Uefa's decision to select the Turkish official for such a high profile game.

"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."

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said after the game at Old Trafford that the better team had lost, and van Persie clearly feels Nani's sending off affected the result.

"We really had the feeling that we were going to score the second goal and then it would become very difficult for Real Madrid. But then it the referee pulled the red card."

Nani and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who refused to talk to the media after the match, were set to learn of any punishments in relation to the game later today. However, that has been postponed and they will hear tomorrow at the earliest.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?