Champions League

Ferdinand escapes UEFA action

Man United defender Rio Ferdinand (5) sarcastically applauds referee Cuneyt Cakir.
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Rio Ferdinand will not face disciplinary action from UEFA for sarcastically applauding Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The Manchester United defender confronted Cakir after his decision to send off Nani during the Champions League last-16 match against Real Madrid which United lost 2-1 for a 3-2 aggregate defeat.

After receiving the referee's report however, UEFA will take no action against Ferdinand.

A UEFA spokesman said: "From the report we have received from the referee, we will not take any action apart from the disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United for the red card of Nani and for post-match media obligations not being fulfilled."

In 2005, Wayne Rooney was sent off after being shown a second yellow card when he sarcastically applauded referee Kim Milton Nielsen during a 1-1 draw against Spanish side Villarreal in the Champions League.

UEFA's disciplinary body will assess whether Nani's red card for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa was worthy of punishment beyond an automatic one-match ban.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson refused to speak to any media following the match, which breaches the obligations set out in UEFA's Champions League regulations. No United player spoke to the media either, which also contravenes the competition rules.

UEFA's rules on post-match media obligations state: "Both clubs must make their manager/head coach available for this press conference.

"All players of both teams are obliged to pass through the mixed zone in order to conduct interviews with the media. Players must fulfil interview requests from audiovisual rights holders before conducting interviews for their club media platforms."

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