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.
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Southampton: Frank Lampard shuns the limelight ahead of his Premier League farewell
Francis Coquelin: The would-be Zinedine Zidane now making an impression as Arsenal’s Claude Makelele
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Gunners snub that redefined Tim Sherwood
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
'I think you are an ostrich': The funniest managerial quotes of the 2014/15 Premier League season
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
- 3 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland