ManU Manager Alex Ferguson's Media Blackout Has UEFA Preparing 'To Take Action'
UEFA has decided "to take action" over ManU Manager Alex Ferguson’s "failure to conduct post-match interviews in the aftermath" of ManU’s Champions League exit Tuesday night, according to Sam Munnery of the LONDON TIMES. Ferguson "opted for a media blackout" after the 3-2 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid, which included a controversial red card for Nani, perhaps "fearful that his emotions could land him in hot water" with UEFA. A "fuming" Ferguson was said to be "in no fit state" to speak to the media, including ManU’s own in-house TV channel, MUTV. Instead, the club sent assistant Mike Phelan "to fulfil the obligation." If he was trying to avoid the wrath of UEFA, however, Ferguson "must now reflect on the irony that keeping his counsel yielded the same outcome." UEFA confirmed it had opened disciplinary proceedings against ManU "over the club’s failure to provide Ferguson and at least two players to do the flash quotes" to TV rights holders after the game (LONDON TIMES, 3/6). In London, Jamie Jackson reported UEFA rules state that "all managers must attend post-match press conferences." While Ferguson speaks to TV after domestic league and cup games, he "refuses to be present at briefings with the print media" (GUARDIAN, 3/6). The PA reported that UEFA issued a short statement "confirming disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the club regarding the two incidents." The statement read, "The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday 21 March." Ferguson is "due to speak to the media on Friday" ahead of ManU's FA Cup quarterfinal with Chelsea (PA, 3/6).
UEFA CLEARS REF: In London, Simon Rice reported UEFA said it has "no problem" with referee Cuneyt Cakir following the fallout from his decision to hand Nani a red card. The Turkish referee showed Nani a red card "for his waist high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa in the 57th minute." There have been "mixed views on the decision." UEFA has confirmed Cakir "will remain on its list of officials" to take charge of Champions League matches this season. A UEFA spokesperson said, "We have no problem with him. There are no issues for us regarding the sending off and we will wait for the official reports of the match delegate and the referee's observer, as is procedure. If they raise concerns then we will act" (INDEPENDENT, 3/6).