Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alao: Nani Red Was Harsh

The Group Managing Director of Complete Communications Ltd., publishers of Nigeria’s No.1 sports daily Complete Sports, Alhaji Mumini Alao, feels referee Cuneyt Cakir was wrong to have sent Manchester United’s Nani off in Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford.

Nani was sent off by the Turk after he left his boot in Alvaro Arbeloa’s midriff and the decision has been the major talking point of an otherwise engrossing encounter which the Spaniards won 2-1 for a 3-2 aggregate win.

“I think the referee was unfair in giving the red card to Nani,” Alao, an ardent supporter of Manchester United’s bitter English rivals Liverpool, said yesterday. “I’ve watched the match again and seen the incident several times. It should never have been a sending off. In fact, I’m not sure it should even have been a yellow card. At worst it should have been a yellow card.

“Nani’s eyes were 100 per cent on the ball as he raised his foot and it was just an unfortunate collision. It was never a red card.”

Real Madrid took advantage of Nani’s dismissal to score two quick goals that turned the tie around in their favour.

Alao feels the result might have been different if Nani had stayed on.

He added: “Of course the red card had an impact on the match. United had kept Real in check up until that moment and the home side were not really under any threat. It’s all hypothetical though, because you never can tell.

“Would United have been able to keep Real out for all of 90 minutes even with 11 men? United had expended a great deal of effort to contain Real and they might have become tired towards the end and Real could have scored in the last 10 minutes.

“The truth is we’ll never know. The red card had an impact, but anything could still have happened with 11 men on both sides.”

. While most pundits (including Everton boss David Moyes and ex-Manchester United captain Bryan Robson) have taken Alao’s view on the Nani red card, some (including ex-United midfielder Roy Keane) insist Cakir was right to send the United winger off.

Do you agree/disagree with Alao? Send your views via SMS to 08027207887.

Some of the Reactions

I disagree with you. UEFA is not English FA that worship and favour Manchester United. Torres once got a red card for diving according to Man United fans and coach. You’ve watched the match over and over again but you did not see Nani raising his boot to hit another player but he pretended as if it was a collision………Tony from Bariga.

 The red card that was given to Nani was very correct. Was Fergie not on the field when two Chelsea players were sent off against Man United?............ Ikpetex Akiode.

The oracle, I expected you to be more informed about UEFA rules being different a bit from the EPL rules on physical approach to football. Don’t brood too much on it, Nani got what he deserved. After all it is not your team………..Dave from Ikeja.

 Alhaji, I want to say Nani’s red card was harsh and controversial. I wish UEFA can temper justice with mercy……..Abbey from Orile.

There was nothing wrong with the red card given to Nani. What on earth made him to think that nobody was there? When 20 players are struggling for the ball in the real sense of it. UEFA should ensure that Nani receives three-match ban.
Honestly, Oga Mumini, I share the same view. I believe Man United would have won that game if not for Nani’s dismissal. To all Man U fans, please take heart………..Alex United, Lagos.

The game of football has its rules. It doesn’t matter if a player’s action is intentional or not. Nani did made a dangerous challenge and I think he deserved the red card……….Ike Tom.

That foul on Arbeloa was a clear red card offence. I played football to a certain level and so I know what a red card offence is. Nani raised his leg too high and in a dangerous manner. Also read Roy Keane’s perfect analysis of what happened. As far as I am concerned, Ferguson is always a bad loser…………Demola Ilori.

The referee is right, Nani deserved the red card.  Also, nemesis caught up with Ferguson, do you remember Man U vs Chelsea EPL match this season?....  Up Chelsea
I think the referee was wrong because Nani was about to control the ball before Arbeloa collided with him……….from Chukwuma.

Spot on Mr Alao; UEFA should copy CAF on how to deal with incompetent referees. It would have been 3-0 in favour of Man United because while Madrid would be committing players in search of the equalizer, the likes of Welbeck, RVP and Nani would have punished them with the amount of space they would have left behind…………Lucky Chuks from Agbor, Delta State.

I disagree with Alao. As per FIFA rule, intention is irrelevant, it’s a red card offence, shikena………….Giwa Oscar.

I sincerely sympathize with Mr Alao because it is painful to watch your ‘darling team’ lose an important match of such magnitude. The referee did his job perfectly well………….from Reverend Cletus Offia, Sapele District, Assemblies of God Church.

I have seen the action that led to the red card with a relaxed mind, and I think the referee erred in his decision……….Amatex from Iyaba.

 I support the referee for giving Nani a red card because he would have been condemned for not issuing the red card. What if something serious had happened to Arbeloa?...........Amos o. Ishenive, Ekpan.

 Alhaji… thanks for your personal observation but Nani is a professional who knows the rules of football. I feel sorry for Man United but that is not an excuse for losing. What do you have to say about the game between Barca and Chelsea  last season? Terry got a red card but Chelsea still went through………….from M. Gbadamosi.

The sending off of Nani was simply daylight robbery, I must say. What was the verdict of experts, simulation? The replay clearly shows Nani’s complete ignorance of Arbeloa advancing, which is not tantamount to endangering the opponent. For me, it is purely misjudgment of the highest order- period………..Ojeniyi Tede, Oyo State.

 Up United. Nani’s offence did not warrant a card, not even a yellow card, because he was only focusing on the ball…………………Ojo from Idanre.

 The sending off of Nani was too harsh  and it killed the game. The referee got it all wrong………….Osita from Ikeja.

 I agree with Alhaji Alao, it wasn’t a red card offence………………Micheal Ume from Ibadan, a Chelsea fan.

  Alhaji Mumini Alao, I disagree with you, though you have the right to air your opinion. Have another close look at the clips again and note the extent of damage Nani would have done to Arbeloa. And Nani was the one rolling on the ground in a bid to deceive  the referee.  I ‘m sure he wouldn’t have been sent off if he had shown concern for Arbeloa, instead of rolling all over the place……………….Hon. Rahman Tunji Salami.

I am a Chelsea fan but I share the same opinion with Mumini Alao. The referee was wrong to have sent Nani off, he should have issued him a yellow card. Had it been Nani was still on the pitch, Man U. would have won that match……………..Bentus Igbokw, Ilorin.

Alao is 100 per cent correct in his analysis. Man United would have won the match because they would have scored another goal……………..Mike from Mushin.

 If the referees are expected to execute in details the FIFA rules, I believe football as a game will be murdered. The referee should have devoid the match of any controversy by just issuing a yellow card instead of a red card. Replays shows that Nani had eyes only for the ball. In this case, the decision was harsh, which gave Madrid undue advantage. The red card took away the shine off the match……………..Fagbuyi Bode.

  I disagree with Alao in the sense that whatever one does in life, he should apply a little bit of caution. There is no ignorance in the court of law……………….Odeniyi Samson.

 Though I am a Chelsea fan, but I think the referee made a mistake by giving a red card to Nani………….Adesope Y.A. from Saki.

Yes… I disagree with Mr Alao. Nani deserved that red card please…………….Ojoka Onitsha.

So Man United know what a bad officiating is?  When other clubs like Chelsea were at the receiving end of bad officiating to the advantage of Man U., they don’t cry blue murder. Though, it wasn’t a red card, but other clubs have not allowed the issuance of a red card to dampen their spirit as Manchester United fans, players and Ferguson did…………….J.A. Kayode, Bowen University.

 The referee was right. Why was Nani rolling on the ground as if he was the one that was injured? Unfortunately for him, it was not an EPL game or Howard Webb at the centre. Unlike the EPL, you can’t influence UEFA referee’s decision……………Richard Akpakpava, Benin City.

Nani deserved the red he got, even with 11 against 11, Madrid would still have won……Ogunfolajimi, Ikotun.

I always respect Alao’s views but on Nani’s red card issue against Madrid, I disagree with him……………….Jude Nwafor, Ijesha tedo.

 Though I am a Madrid fan, that red card was wrong. A yellow card would have been okay for raising his feet. Nani never saw Arbeloa, his eyes were on the ball……………….Mofe Stephens.

Mr Alao, I am not a Man U fan but I think the referee spoilt the match by sending Nani off. The red card was harsh…………Niniola Osime.

To be plain, it depends on which angle you view it. But remember that Drogba and Mikel once fell victims and the ruling favoured Man United then, life goes on……………….Freeman, Sango-Otta.


  1. Chelsea fans commenting here are idiots.

  2. Of course, referee was wrong and made a grave error. The replay conforms that. The question is now would technology be used for a ever fast moving game that requires referees make instant correct decisions.

  3. Perfect red card if the rule is follow. To say it may not even deserve a yellow card is taking it too far. Football decisions are not based on intention. Referees are not mind readers and players like Nani goes on trying to deceive them all the time. He knew what he did, and that's why he spent so much time on the ground feigning injury. If you play football on the pitch, you have ears and peripheral vision to warn you of players close to you. Footballers don't play without awareness like a locomotive train that only sees where it faces. Please stop making excuses. The rules were made to protect players and that includes him. We don't have to wait to see someone died - intentionally or not before we punish violent play. Sir Alex have reminded us of that many times anyway...

  4. It was not the right decision because ManU were involved, if it were to be any other team, we wouldn't have been blind to the rules of the game and everyone would have accepted the ref.'s decision as right and final, so tired of these english "blind" soccer analyst.

  5. A player is not supposed to focus on the ball alone he should also focus on the other players and even the referee that is what is called awareness Nani made a dangerous tackle he was given a deserved red card How will Fergie feel if Van Persie has the same stud injury Arbelao had? If the card is incorrectly given EUFA would have reverted the action and sanction the refree. Fergie and Man U should know that its not Man U alone that watches and understand football and why will a seasoned manager like Fergie feel so distraught?

  6. Nigerian team has proved that they are best in African continent -