March 6, 2013

Nani's red card was justified

Similar to the first leg, both Manchester United's and Real Madrid's tactical conducts contributed to a highly tense match being fully tied until the English side finally scored the leading goal at the start of the second half, being quite fortunate against the background that Turkish assistant referee Tarik Ongun missed a tight offside position in the goal's build-up. Then, the most controversial decision of the whole Round of 16 occurred...

Cüneyt Çakır sending off Nani (c) Welt.de

Just a couple of minutes after this 1:0 goal, Turkish high profile referee Cüneyt Çakır, who is said to have pretty good chances to handle Wembley final this season, sent off Manchester's Portuguese striker Nani for serious foul play on his opponent Álvaro Arbeloa. That's what you call a soi-disant "game-changing decision": Immediately after this straight red card, Manchester United lost the defensive control over the match and quickly conceded two goals that decided the match in favour of Real. Besides diverse other crucial or more likely critical incidents, that will be reported more detailedly by our Blog Observer, the red card should be focussed on now.



You can easily detect that Çakır waited quite a long time before he issued the red card. That should however not be interpreted as a mere sign of hesitation, but rather as a respectful manner while dismissing a player, waiting until he will have stood up. It's also pretty probable that assistant referee 1 Bahattin Duran and/or fourth official Mustafa Emre Eyisoy had a certain influence on the assessment of this foul. At least, one may suspect that.

In the public perception (TV commentators, so-called "TV experts",  twitter-comments and even comments in this blog) the situation was naturally discussed in various ways, while one typical statement was repeatedly issued: "Yellow would have been enough". That was also my first thought, taking into account that one actually cannot accuse Nani of having deliberately fouled Arbeloa in this severe manner. He could now know that he was coming, that such a type of foul could come into existence at all. But that's not the question. If it was, then this red card would have been completely wrong. But it is not. While one cannot accuse Nani of having deliberately committed this foul, one may well accuse him of risking the mere opportunity that his stretched studs could seriously hurt an opponent. Severely endangering one's opponent, specially with stud-up and foot-up tackles, must be red-carded - the Laws of the Game (Law 12) clearly define that: "A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as serious foul play." 
So, even though the sending-off might have aroused a harsh impression among supporters, spectators and players, Çakır was right in the end. Such brave decisions have to be measured at their legal correctness and the wellbeing of the player who was fouled - and not at the name who is sent off, nor at the immense size of the match we are talking about, nor at the specific minute or match context, when it was issued. Therefore, Çakır actually deserves respect and should be praised for this courageous call, having been aware that this decision would have a huge impact on the match and would make his evening much less smooth than otherwise. The referee observer present at this match, Pierluigi Collina, more than once emphasized his appreciation of referees who do not fear consequences in their brave decision-taking.

That's red, dear Sir Alex! (c) Focus.de

Though, there is a crux. Despite the positive assessment of this decision, there have been other crucial situations, and very probably there was a crucial mistake. But even if all these decisions had been correct, Cüneyt Çakır now has a problem with regards to a possible Wembley nomination: it will be difficult to appoint a referee for a Champions League final, who made a controversial decision which dominated the entire media during and after such a huge match, let alone the pressure that could evolve from the behaviour of some ManUtd. responsibles, including Sir Alex Ferguson, who - in spite of his advanced age - has still not learnt to fairly and circumspectly dealing with decisions taken by referees. This behaviour is by the way dangerous. UEFA has consequently opened a disciplinary process against Manchester United.

Thus, Çakır has surely lost more than he could win yesterday. At the same time, there may be no doubt about the fact that decisions have to be assessed and should be analyzed independently from a certain public perception. And yet, it is probably the best for this excellent referee to disappear for a while from the big stage, remembering what happened to Anders Frisk, Tom-Henning Övrebö and Urs Meier a few years ago.

67 Comments:

  1. I agree - but would also say that this scenario differs completely to a couple of the referees you mention in the end.

    In fact, knowing Collina's character, I would not be entirely surprised if he was selected for the final simply because he issued red in this scenario. (I have to state that in the PL however, this type of decision is mandatory Yellow, and when referees have attempted to define as red, they have been overturned - e.g. Cole and Gibson at West Ham Everton recently).

    I would like to reiterate too, that I don't think you can give the Rafael handball as deliberate, thus no pen and red card. We must deliberate whether this is intentional on his part, and clearly his arm was merely in a natural state of movement as he goes to head the ball. For me his performance was much more elegant than Brych's in the first leg, and controlled excellently in the main.

    That said, I still want Skomina to take the final. Elements to Cakir's game still frustrate - too many cards for one thing, 12 reds in 12 months I believe for example.

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  2. Anonymous6/3/13 19:43

    Cakir ruined an otherwise wonderful match. Looking as a lover of good football (I don't really care about referee's troubles - as long as they don't influence the normal flow of the game) - he put himself in the center of attention: noone is talking about the really great match (until 58th minute) but only about him. That's the worst thing a referee can do. He did a very good job and I have great respect for him - but he's not a top-class referee. If he can think of himself being so important to make such a controversial decision in such a tight match - then he's not fit to be a referee in really important matches. Football is not about "star" referees but about star players!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous6/3/13 19:59

      And who the fuck are you?

      Sometimes, referees are forced to put themselves in the center of attention.

      1. Cakir can start preparing for a new trip to England in may.

      2. I hope the scottish hypocrite leaves top football as soon as possible.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous6/3/13 19:59

      So, a referee applying strictly the rules must be considered a man who wants to be a star on the pitch?
      Can't agree with that statement.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous6/3/13 22:59

      I hate it when supporters claim that the referee is at fault for "ruining" a match. Instead they should blame the footballer who put the referee in that position. The referee simply enforces the laws.

      -yankee

      Delete
    4. Anonymous7/3/13 11:14

      Cakir was'nt done a wrong thing. It's the UEFA rules, if he's trying to end oppenents career -even with involuntarily- he'll see red card! And yes Tarik Ongun has missed an offside but it wasn't Cakir's mistake. If you want to criticize someone, you should speak about Tarik. Not Cakir.. Cakir is the best refree in this world for now. -For active refrees, I love Colina much more then Cakir-

      Delete
    5. Anonymous7/3/13 20:57

      Cakir's first half was brilliant! But he made one crucial mistake (followed by others) which was against the spirit of football. Had Arbeloa been half a meter more to his left it would have been his foul, not Nani's! I still believe he's one of the best European referees but this mistake was unexplicable!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous6/3/13 20:20

    I agree about red card and I also think Colina agrees with Cakir. In my opinion there are two possiblities:
    1) If Colina thinks Rafael's handball was crucial mistake, Cakir will get 7.9, even the red card was correct. In this case, Cakir will maybe get Europa League match, maybe he won't get any match.
    2) If Colina thinks Rafael's handball was not a mistake, Cakir will get at least 8.5, and not just that: Cakir will get just one match in the next rounds and it will be CL final. That is the best way to show everybody that Cakir did well, and best answer from UEFA to Ferguson and Machester's fans.
    But, if maybe Rizzoli or somebody else show something extraordinary than he should get CL final.

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  4. I believe Ovrebo should be excluded from the list as his situation, performance in that particular match and future was very much different than others mentioned in the post. To simplify, he was about to retire at the end of the season and the match he got was a "thank you for your work so far" reward for his career.
    Regards.

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  5. Anonymous6/3/13 22:03

    Half of the voters in the poll have said it is not mandatory red card. How can you call it a totally correct decision. It is only a decision in the opinion of the referee. I bet Webb would have issued a yellow and had no second doubt...

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous6/3/13 23:02

      You're probably right the Webb would have issued yellow. In fact, it's exactly what he did do in the World Cup Final. I think that it's a shame the BPL does not punish serious foul play and when referees try to they get overruled. However, that in no way means that Cakir's decision was incorrect.

      -yankee

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    2. You are the man, yankee!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous7/3/13 09:28

      You picked a bad pick - Howard did not see the tackle correctly and later said he was sorry for not giving red there.

      Delete
    4. But Howard Webb has already said he would have issued a red in the world cup final if he had seen it from a better angle: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1306228/Howard-Webb-admits-World-Cup-final-mistake-Nigel-Jongs-kung-fu-kick.html

      I've been in that situation, where 21 players come to tell you at the end that you have ruined the match with a red. Thankfully I've issued the same cards and had my assessor tell me the decision was exactly correct. Players, managers, journalists and supporters don't have a neutral view of the match, whereas us referee have to do that.

      I don't mind ruining the match if that is what the laws call for- better that than ruin a players career through injury.

      Delete
  6. Yankee - two excellent posts, congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I appreciate the support.
      I have created an account and will try to comment more frequently, hopefully with similar success haha.

      Delete
  7. I think some of you will like to read this from Graham Poll:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2289282/This-terrible-trend-demonising-referees-like-Cuneyt-Cakir-stop-Graham-Poll.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mail_gpoll&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=socialnet-twitter-mail_gpoll

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Yankee: We all welcome you here making frequent comments, and I agree to what you said in every point.
      @ Turan: Thanks for the link, as we all know that Poll is always the most reliable assessor of such situations, his text will be really enriching ;) Of course each case I listed, Övrebö, Frisk and Meier are individual and differ from each other. But in the principle, they have similarities. But I probably add something to that later, you are right.

      Delete
    2. I'll reply on the others later.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. So in all logic:
    Diego Lopez red card for punching Vidic in the head with full force and both hands? Dangerous unintentional serious foul play, can cause severe head trauma or body trauma as a result of a bad fall? No? Anyone? Yea, didn't think so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous7/3/13 09:36

      correct, but they only hey-ho their red card, don't bother :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7/3/13 09:55

      some talk about common sense before.

      By LOTG this is penalty and up to the referee, yellow or red. Should we use common sense here or follow the rules?

      http://www.metatube.com/en/videos/174269/Nemanja-Vidic-clash-with-Diego-Lopez-Manchester-United-vs-Real-Madrid/

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    3. Bad luck. Minutes 30-35 was the area of time when I switched to Skomina's match. So I see that for the first time now.

      We know that the header missed his target and that the punch had no impact on Vidic's header. But nonetheless, it's a foul on paper. Very difficult, but actually I think the decision is in the end ok. Not because it's ok according to the Laws of the Game, but well...don't know how to explain that..you actually don't award penalties for such stuff, even though you perhaps should do it..

      Delete
    4. Anonymous8/3/13 21:07

      and that is exactly why you need common sense, though Eduard said it is something that a referee should avoid :)

      and common sense says that on should only book Nani. The game is bigger than the rules sometimes...

      Delete
    5. From what I understand you say that the referee should have common sense at the expense of the LOTG.

      So Cakir shouldn't sent off Nani only in order not to ruin the game?

      Delete
    6. Not ruining the match may not be an explanation for ignoring dangerous or serious foul play...perhaps someone finally gets the idea that Nani should be accused for having "ruined the match" instead of blaming the referee.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Well, my last remarks about Cakir.
      First of all, it seems clear that the red card was not the biggest mistake. I think that the handball on goal line and the missed penalty in 92' are more controversial and interesting situations to analyze. Having said that, it would be interesting to know Collina opinion about the whole performance, but it will be also very useful to know how many matches of ban will receive Nani. I think that, based on this, we wil be able to understand how committee evaluated this situation.
      For me, the handball was penalty and red card, even though there wasn't a distance, you can't jump near the goal line putting the arms in that position. It means that you want to increase the volume of your body. Gocek was there, I don't know if he was looking at goal line or not.
      Therefore, there is at least one clear and crucial mistake, but there is something more to say. Even if we want to evaluate positively all the calls made by referee, in my opinion UEFA can't appoint him for the final. Why? Because you have to consider also the astonishment caused by the referee in the media and in the fans. If they appoint Cakir for Wembley and he does a mistake, I can't imagine the criticisms against UEFA. For this reason, I'm sorry fr the Turkish referee, and you know I agree with him in the red card situation, but after this performance (unluckily) he has lost the hope to referee the final match.
      At this level, you have to consider also these aspects.
      By the way, Admin said that the second assistant, Ongun, had a relaxed approach all match long, starting from the beginning. I must agree, I have watched again the first half, he missed another offside, appearing always to be in delay while following the action.
      Having said that, don't forget that this trio officiated a CWC final and it's on the road to Brazil 2014, I wish them good luck. A poor match can happen, but we must take into account also the difficulty.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/3/13 22:38

      I'm having trouble understanding why this foul was considered accidental. Certainly his jump and attempt to get the ball were initially without malicious intent, but at the moment he has a chance to not follow through and push down Arbeloa he instead chose to. No one saw the extra follow through but me? Surprising. The red was deserved not JUST for the letter of the law (which in common practice in sports is often overlooked), but also for intent IMO.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous7/3/13 10:00

    Cakir score:8.2

    http://skorer.milliyet.com.tr/collina-dan-cakir-a/-/detay/1677291/default.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting! If true, this is the confirmation that UEFA was content with the red card. By the way, if I have translated well, it seems that Collina was more disappointed by the ironic applause that Cakir received from Ferdinand after the final whistle. There, at least a YC was mandatory.
      Anyway, 8.2 seems to be a very good mark for a match like this, but I find strange that the handball is not mentioned. Is possible that UEFA evaluated it as correct, too?

      Delete
    2. As not 100% crucial mistake. Only imagine the referee sees this situation once and his interpretation was totally undeliberate handball. Is this strange? Don't think so :)

      Delete
    3. First, it was also reported in Turkish media that Stark would have got 6.3 by Skjervold in ManU-Gala, it was wrong.

      And second, I do not think 8.2 is really a good mark, at least perhaps not enough for Wembley. I must say since we have this blog and follow CL performances that closely, I never came across a match with that many different controversies.

      Delete
    4. I also wouldnt believe in this mark right now. Media knows nothing... rumors, rumors...

      And, I agree that if it was 8.2. Then, Wembley final would not be possible. Actually, in my opinion he shouldnt have CL final this year not depending whther the rest of calls is evaluated as correct or not-

      He should be a little bit away from the European media's eye... With appoitments I mean...

      Delete
    5. I will try to learn the correct mark and will let you guys know in a couple of days.

      Delete
    6. Thanks in advance for your efforts.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous8/3/13 20:58

      Turan, are you a referee from San Francisco (USA)?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10/3/13 00:29

      Did you find out the correct mark?

      Delete
  12. Rizzoli has been appointed as AAR1 in a match (Udinese-Roma) on Saturday. This could mean that he has Champions on next Tuesday or Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Two interesting nominations in Bundesliga:

    Schalke-Dortmund
    Peter Gagelmann, Matthias Anklam, Sascha Thielert, Manuel Gräfe

    Gladbach-Bremen
    Wolfgang Stark, Jan-Hendrik Salver, Mike Pickel, Frank Willenborg

    It will be the first involvement of Stark in a Bremen match since 6 years. Werder refused him for quite a long time, now he is suddenly there..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6 years?
      What happened between Stark and Werder Brema?

      Delete
    2. Following this match http://www.weltfussball.de/spielbericht/bundesliga-2007-2008-hannover-96-werder-bremen/ Bremen's former chairman Allofs said, as far as I remember, that it would not have been the first time that Bremen had made bad experiences with Stark, so it was their wish to be not refereed by him anymore.

      Delete
  14. Not the same as Nani's, but quite similar.

    http://www.skorer.tv/video-izle/Manchester-Eboue-icin-ses-cikarmamis--l3pDqqdgWU0w.html

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    Replies
    1. Alan Wiley, right?

      Delete
    2. I am not sure. You are probably right.

      Delete
    3. how can you compare two absolutly different situations?
      accidental kick vs. fully intentional kick with no aim to play with a ball

      Delete
    4. Yes, it's Wiley. One of my favourite referees...

      Delete
  15. Anonymous8/3/13 13:01

    No red card. Not,not....and Collina is not impartial at the designations.

    ReplyDelete
  16. GFC Ajaccio - Monaco
    Ligue 2 - 01/03/2013
    Tony Chapron
    http://www.corsematin.com/article/ajaccio/video-gfca-monaco-larbitre-chapron-aurait-effectue-un-geste-obscene-vers-le-public.917687.html
    Can't believe that!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Stunned by Chapron's action...of course it reminds me on Busacca.

    According to marca.com, Cakir got 8.2 and Collina's only or the basic criticism was that he did not send off Ferdinand after the final whistle for applauding..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way, I said that 8,2 was a good mark not because it's a good mark at all, but compared to the difficulty of the match. If you come out with a 8,2 in a match like this, it means that you have done a good work, at least in my opinion.
      And still about that, I have read your report, Edward. I don't agree with the grade of difficulty that you have assigned, I think that it was the most difficult UEFA CL match at least of the last two seasons.
      Of course, this is said only as my opinion, I'm not against you. I agree with your mark!

      Delete
    2. Everyone is entitled to his opinion Chefren.

      But degree of difficulty is affected by a lot of things. For me technically it wasn't the most difficult match. No hard physical duels. Clean tackles and only 1 difficult situation for the referee (Rafael's handball even though I don't blame him for that).

      Delete
    3. Yes, I understand, by the way I think that we should also add the scenario, the first leg score, the atmosphere and the fact that each decision by the referee could have had a very big importance.
      To make a comparison, totally different from Juventus-Celtic. There probably Aydinus was very relaxed, it wasn't possible for Cakir.
      That's why I would have chosen "very challenging".
      All the eyes were on the referee, Cakir had to work also with his mind.
      Regards!

      Delete
    4. I agree with both of you, from the technical perspective, I would also have selected challenging, regarding the entire tone of the match and circumstances including the pressure on the Turkish team, 'very challenging' would have been appropiate, too.

      Delete
    5. Keep in mind another thing.

      If Nani wasn't off then everything would be completely different. Then the whole match difficulty could be described even as normal.

      Delete
  18. Interesting article where Cakir defends his red card and the accusations of him being "biased" against English players.

    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1366984/turkish-ref-defends-issuing-nani-red-card,-report-says?cc=5901

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous8/3/13 20:08

      TFF denies it: http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/137/england/2013/03/08/3807990/cuneyt-cakir-i-was-right-to-send-nani-off

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8/3/13 20:55

      I meant this link: http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2914/champions-league/2013/03/08/3807867/turkish-football-federation-denies-referee-cuneyt-cakirs

      Delete
  19. Anonymous8/3/13 20:54

    Sorry, this is the correct link: http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2914/champions-league/2013/03/08/3807867/turkish-football-federation-denies-referee-cuneyt-cakirs

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you. In that case, apologies as I thought the article came from a reliable source.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12/3/13 09:58

    Nani saw arbelua and didnt change his decision of down his foot...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12/3/13 11:39

    If Nani did not push his foot after the kick for the second time, I think it would be an uncontrolled move and yellow card, but in such a position in which he consciously put his foot for a second time, this is a correct red card. Congralutaions Mr. Çakır, we will look for your Wembley refereeing, and in 2015, we will wait the final for Mr. Aydınus who is also a brilliant referee.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous12/3/13 15:16

    Congratulations Mr. Çakır

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous13/3/13 02:39

    Thank you Cakir. Made us very happy. Please look at the picture above and say this is not a red card position. These brits need a good pair of eye. LOL RED CARD for you NANI

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous17/3/13 14:49

    Çakır I LOVE YOU ..)

    ReplyDelete

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