Was a red card justified?

Just about everyone agrees that Nani’s boot was high, but was the Manchester United player's action reckless enough to get him sent off? Sportswriters are speaking out on the referee’s game-changing decision.

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Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir shows Manchester United's Nani a red card that shocked him, Old Trafford and much of the sporting world. REUTERS

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Was a red card justified?

Real Madrid advanced to the next round of the Champions League last night with both of their goals coming after a controversial red-card for Manchester United's Nani early in the second half.

Prior to that, United, with a 1-0 lead, looked to be in control.

Nani was dismissed by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for raising his boot too high in trying to control a ball dropping from height. In doing so, his boot hit Real player Alvaro Arbeola in the rib cage. Just about everyone agrees that a yellow card was justified, but a red – at such an important point of an important game?

Most sports writers seem to think it wasn't justified; some even think the referee's decision seemed like a crime. Here is a sampling of their comments from last night:

Wall Street Journal's Joshua Robinson reporting live:

That is a bizarre decision. And frankly a bad one. Nani’s foot was high when he hit the Madrid defender, but it didn’t look intentional and both players appeared to be going for the ball.


Nani went into a high challenge with Arbeloa but his eyes were on the ball throughout and United were stunned when referee Cakir waited for the Portuguese to get back on his feet before producing the red card.

Richard Tanner, The Express

IT was a crying shame that on a night when we should have been talking about the exploits of two of Europe’s finest football teams, it was the referee who became the big talking point.

Nani was dismissed for an innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa.

His foot was high, but there looked no malice in the challenge and his eyes were set on the ball with the Real player coming in on his blind side. United players surrounded referee Cakir and Ferguson came down from his seat to remonstrate with the fourth official, but it was all in vain as Nani trudged off.

Henry Winter, Telegraph

When Manchester United’s devastated players finally emerged from the dressing room, they would not, probably could not, talk. The club had advised them to stay silent over Cuneyt Cakir’s unspeakable decision to send off Nani. Their inner fury, the anger in the eyes said it all.

United’s players felt the victims of grand larceny.

Nani’s foot was undoubtedly high as he collided with Álvaro Arbeloa but he was not looking at the Real Madrid full-back. There was no malice, no intent. Nani’s eyes were on the ball. He did not even know Arbeloa was arriving fast. Caught accidentally by Nani, Arbeloa went down and stayed down, clutching his midriff.

What do you think? You can see a video clip here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/nani-red-card-v-real-madrid-right-or-wrong/

referee – a person who is in charge of a sports game and who makes certain that the rules are followed ผู้ตัดสิน, กรรมการตัดสิน
justified – showing that there is good reason for something มีเหตุผลที่ดีพอ
advance – to move forward, in this case, to the next round of the tournament เข้ารอบ
controversial – causing disagreement ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
dismiss – to force a player to leave a competition for breaking the ไล่ออก
rib cage – the bones that curve around the chest and protect organs such as the lungs and heart กระดูกซี่โครง
crime – an illegal activity or action  อาชญากรรม
sampling – an example or small amount of something that shows you what all of it is like ตัวอย่างที่สุ่มได้
bizarre – very strange and unusual แปลกประหลาด,วิตถาร,ผิดปกติ
frankly – in an open, honest, and direct manner อย่างตรงไปตรงมา
defender – a player whose job is to stop the other team scoring in a game such as football ผู้ป้องกัน
intentionally – deliberately; done purposely อย่างตั้งใจ
appear – to seem ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
challenge – in football, an attempt to take the ball away from your opponent or to stop them from progressing คัดค้าน
stunned – very shocked or upset  ทำให้ตกใจ ทำให้วิตกกังวล
crying shame – of something very bad or unfair เลวร้ายมากและไม่เป็นธรรม
exploit – a brave, exciting or interesting act ความสามารถ, พฤติการณ์ที่ดีหรือกล้าหาญ
innocuous – harmless; not likely to offend or upset anyone; not likely to harm or hurt anyone or anything ซึ่งไม่มีอันตราย, ซึ่งไร้พิษภัย
malice – a strong feeling of wanting to hurt someone or be unkind to them ความมุ่งร้าย
blind side – an area to the side of you that you cannot see
surrounded – having something completely around all sides ถูกล้อมรอบ
remonstrate – to argue with, complain to, or criticise someone about something คัดค้าน, โต้แย้ง
trudge – to walk somewhere with slow heavy steps เดินอย่างเมื่อยล้า
devastated – upset and shocked  หมดหวัง, ตกตะลึง, สะเทือนใจ
emerged – came out ปรากฏให้เห็น
silent – very quiet; without sound เงียบ
unspeakable – of something extremely bad and upsetting  ที่เลวร้ายจนไม่สามารถอธิบายเป็นคำพูดได้
fury – extreme anger ความโกรธจัด
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
grand larceny – illegally taking the property (money, valuable items) of someone else, especially property with a high value การลักขโมย
undoubtedly - certainly อย่างไม่น่าสงสัย
collide – (especially of moving objects) to hit something violently ชน,กระแทก
clutch – to hold something tightly จับแน่น
midriff – the part of your body between your waist and your chest, especially the front part ส่วนกลางของร่างกายคือระหว่างอกและเอว

Related search: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Nani, red card

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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