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July 2021

Ref Cakir: is he a cheat? Or are others cheating the public?

By Walter Broeckx

It is fair to say that this was a very educative week on the referee front. And yet I will not go in to any analyses (unless I wander off during this article) on the decisions themselves. No I rather want to talk about how the media has been going on about the Turkish ref  Cunyet Cakir.

I think that by now all the serious media in this country will have searched his bin bags to see what he is eating and drinking. I think we would have heard by now if they would have found something Spanish in his bin bag as further evidence on how biased this ref was against Manchester United.

His twitter account was found and look he followed Ronaldo and good grief even the Spanish tourist bureau. Correct me if I missed something as I didn’t  go to every newspaper websites to find all the details.

Since last Tuesday the whole English press is on this manhunt of the ref that dared to send a Manchester United player off at Old Trafford. Ok it is fair to say that this is rather a rare event in general. So maybe the press is not used to it and so they started the which hunt on the person who was brave enough to do such a thing.

So they found “EVIDENCE” of his bias in his twitter account. And in another fact. The fact of his previous Manchester United games.

Of course if you don’t know this already you:

a)      stay away from the serious gutter media

b)      couldn’t give a sh*t about it

c)      you are a visitor from another world.

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But it is a fact that ref Cakir has done 3 games with Manchester United before.

  • On 22/11/2011 he did the game MU – Benfica which ended at 2-2.
  • On 15/03/2012 he did the game Athletic Bilbao – MU which ended at 2-1.
  • And now he did the game MU – RM that ended at 1-2.

So 3 games done : 0 wins – 1 draw and 2 lost.

The cry of outrage can be read and heard all over the world. Those statistics prove that he is against Manchester United the media suggest.

And thus the media will go on searching his bin bags, look at his twitter account. Maybe by now they have tapped his phone and wired his house. And believe me if ref Cakir would dare to go on a holiday to the Costa del Nomatterwhere in Spain we will hear about it and it will be brought forward as another evidence of what a real biased ref he is.

I think it is amazing how one bad performance, because lets be honest after the previous games I didn’t hear much talk about this ref can bring the media up in the arms and start investigations as if a mass murder has been committed.

So I want to applaud the media for their efforts. And I want to encourage them to look further and to dig deeper. If ref Cakir is a dishonest ref and has a bias against Manchester United he should be exposed.  In fact I think the media should do more work like this. They should pursue each and every biased and dishonest ref like they do with this one.

The only thing that is bothering me a bit is…well how shall I put it…the fact that the obsession of the media with this ref is a bit strange.

Because based on 3 games they claim to see evidence in him being biased against Manchester United.

And yet…and yet… a lot closer to home I have shown numbers that are based on more games from a certain ref. And numbers that are even more shocking compared to the numbers of ref Cakir. And yet no media hunt has started on this.

So for those people from the media I will show the numbers again. The numbers from Dean since 2009 in Arsenal games:

Games won draw lost





Since 2009




And compare this with the normal Arsenal numbers in all the games:

Arsenal won draw lost




And yet apart from one short article I don’t see the media looking further in to this. I don’t hear the media cry in outrage and shout cheat. Like I said apart from one article the silence is deafening.

And that is what is bothering me. When Manchester United gets done by the ref or even when they think they are done by the ref the media declare war on this ref. But when Arsenal gets screwed over and over and over again by a certain ref (and he is not alone – I have more shocking numbers) the media ignore it.

Maybe because well ref Cakir is a bloody foreigner. And so he surely must be a cheat. And maybe because the other ref(s) are English and so they cannot be but honest people? I don’t know of course but it is just a possible thought that passed my head.

Or maybe the CL is not really their cup of tea and so accusing refs in the CL is not really harming the English PL, that beacon of honesty in a cheating football world. Whereas exposing an English ref as a possible biased ref against a team might harm the PL and might harm their well buttered sandwich?  I don’t know of course but it is just a possible thought that passed my head.

So what is the difference? Why the outrage and the search for “evidence” on the bias of this ref and why is the media silent and not looking for bias by refs in the PL?

And that there are some strange results when you look at the teams and their overall numbers in the games is something that can be found rather easily. In fact we are working on it right now. And we will come out with numbers that are really strange on behalf of some refs.

So will the media start looking for evidence on those strange numbers? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

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79 comments to Ref Cakir: is he a cheat? Or are others cheating the public?

  • Jed

    Walter, have you taken your stats to the UK press and if so what was the reaction?

  • dan

    There is no hate like white hate, history speaks for itself!!!

  • Mick

    Reminds me of the silence surrounding Bales latest yellow card for diving last night compared to the mass collective condemnation of Cazorla for his only (supposed) dive a couple of months ago. I am afraid Walter that double standards are the norm and you are wasting your time trying to bring it to the attention of anyone who can do anything about it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For any Manchester United fan that wants to comment.
    On this blog we try to stay civilised. And so comments that are abusive will not be published.
    We do welcome other opinions but please do leave out the insults and then maybe you might have something interesting to say.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I try to link to such articles to as many journalists as possible. I don’t know what I can do otherwise for the moment. Please let me know if you know how to bring this under their eyes. Shut eyes I think.

    Because if they really are good journalists and looking for good stories, they should have been up to this for more than one year.

  • para

    I am gald that some people use their head for what it was intended instead of just using it for headbutting.
    The media spins a story that the youngsters accept hook line and sinker, that English football is faster, that english players are better, that, i could go on and on and on, sadly there is a part of the population that gobbles up this stuff and takes it as fact. In time it then becomes “true” for that is all they have ever heard. I must say i have never seen it at such a scale anywhere else except UK.
    Not even going to go to racism in the media.

  • John

    How dare the ref break the rules in this way? Didn’t he know what is expected of referees at OT?

    Interesting that SAF is being charged for not fulfilling media obligations. (Actually more media silence on his part would be quite a good thing). No mention of his aggressive dash towards the fourth official, then!

    Also, no action for Ferdinand’s behaviour towards the ref!

    Even in Europe, different rules apply to MU

  • I could probably set this match up for a review if you’d like it Walter – might draw some attention?


  • nihirealist

    Once Nani got the red card, the commentators started on with phrases like ‘the referee has an agenda, and it doesn’t favour Manchester United’, ‘they’ve been undone by a piece of skulduggery’, ‘the decision will be talked about for years’.

    Despite the similarity of a Spanish team progressing against an English team following a disputed red card in about the 60th minute, not once was Busacca and Barcelona-Arsenal mentioned. NOT ONCE. And that’s leaving aside the fact that although the red card for Nani might be harsh, it was hardly egregious.

    The studio commentators after the match in my part of the world brought up the Asian betting scandal, and how this match deserves an investigation.

    Why do the media do this? The answer is simple. ManU’s brand value must be protected. That is the reason referees favour them, the media favour them, and the league favours them. ManU is the flagship brand of the league. And hence, ManU’s success needs to be ensured, and failing that, their stature and aura has to be propped up at all times. So ManU can’t lose unless cheated.

    While Arsenal simply aren’t mentally strong enough to fight against ‘perceived injustices’. Why are Arsenal attacked? The answer is the other side of the same coin as the answer to ManU. ManU’s brand, and the spending of the likes of Chelsea and City bring the league the most hyped players in the world, and hence a hyped product. Arsenal’s model offers no such hype. If Arsenal succeed, it is a threat to the established order.

    I have never before heard a commentator suggest that the referee is a cheat while the game is going on. Least of all on something like the Nani incident. Again it’s being blown up to be such a bad decision, when it wasn’t really. Kind of how Atkinson vs Chelsea was supposed to be ManU being cheated, even though they scored an offside goal, and had so many possibly bookable offences overlooked. Fuck the media, and the fuck the corrupt ‘product’ they try and sell us.

  • nihirealist

    scored a handball goal*

  • William

    What about the ref who officiated the game between Chelsea and Barceelona?Chelsea were denied at least three 100% penalties.I hope he has retired.

  • WalterBroeckx

    put it in the list. but don’t know if I can still get the whole match from my cable provider as CL games are not shown on our sports channel.

  • @nihirealist Atkinson is well Chelsea though.. I’d say they had a point with that one.

    But the thing is – statistically speaking these events are clear outliers. The norm is Man U getting the benefit of any doubt and/or blatant wrong calls in their favor.

    So why all the focus on outliers if the media wish to focus on corruption..? No – the media are not bothered about corruption – they only care about the status quo and will not ask these difficult questions…

    …they just keep eating their ‘well buttered’ bullshit sandwiches while telling us it’s delicious king prawn and lettuce.

    News flash media – shit stinks and we can smell it from here.

  • I’ll have to find it first Walter… I’ll have a poke around this weekend – see what’s out there data-wise.

  • nihirealist


    Not denying ATkinson is pro Chelsea. But he was made out to be the sole reason for ManU’s loss. Basically, it was blown out of proportion. The media do it to protect ManU’s brand value. ManU’s success is what the league/television piggybacks on to access new markets. I’ve experienced it being in a newer market myself. They were the first team I heard of, and the favourable reporting and hype brings them new fans. For me, the hype was a turnoff, and Arsenal found me instead. But the media influence was there, and it has an effect. So, I think it stands to reason that they will seek to bring them continued success (for their own benefit). That is why I don’t think the refereeing nonsense will stop with Ferguson’s retirement.

  • KLV

    It is only natural that media stirs up the hype in favour of Man Utd – they make their living from it. Most media are what the lyrics of a famous song would say “they crawled out of the woodwork”.

    Man Utd cannot achieve as much success in Europe as they did in England simply because in European matches, refs don’t give a damn who Sir Alex Ferguson is.

  • JohnW

    I think there’s a consensus developing that Sp*rs can represent better, the EPL in CL matches than Arsenal.Could this consensus in the media be taking hold of some of the refs? If so, then that explains the strange decisions against us.
    This week’s incident at OT also makes me wonder why the British media did not make issue with van Persie’s red card at Camp Nou, at a time when Arsenal was leading on aggregate. Which was the most serious crime? kicking the ball when you don’t hear the whistle or trying to injure your opponent through dangerous play?
    Anyway it might sound childish, but i feel very happy that it happened to ManU and SAF. They are used to getting it their way, especially at the same stadium.

  • devilboy

    As a manchester united fan i can safely say you are an idiot! Why? Anyone who agrees it was a red card is! Thats all

  • John

    Nani knew he might be in trouble for this foul, so pretended to be injured. Imagine the outcry if the other player had planted his studs in Nani’s chest?

  • WalterBroeckx

    The comment from devilboy has been passed fit by myself for a few reasons.

    this is a typical example on some comments that usually don’t get published and these are the reasons:

    1. The post is abusive and insulting

    2. the author clearly didn’t read the article or is not smart enough to understand the article. I planned not to talk about the decisions themselves but yet this devilboy assumes I agree. I let the decisions out because otherwise we would get an endless discussion of: yes/no/sometimes

    3. Nowhere is there even an indication of why he thinks certain things. I might be an idiot. But usually it takes a few psychiatric exams to decide if a person really is an idiot or not. But maybe devilboy can do this based on something that is not even written down.

    4. Nowhere does he brings up any evidence on why it wasn’t a red card. He could use the laws of the game. He could use the instructions of the game. No. Devilboy says it is so and that’s it.

    Now I have let this pass as I thought it was a good example of what we see behind the scenes and you usually don’t see.

    And I had to delete a few of those in the last hour or so. But after all the insults behind the scenes I got I will not hit back at those. Even though after a while you want to of course. But I will not lower myself to their level. Yet. 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    But don’t worry he will not be back 🙂 Devilboy that is.

  • Tom

    As an Arsenal fan I find these numbers disturbing but to be fair Wenger and the board have done more to damage Arsenal FC since 2009 than any referee, Mike Dean included. As for RVP’s red card against Barca – it was just as bad as Nani’s , but since Arsenal didn’t have a shot on goal in that match, the media probably didn’t perceived it as pivotal, even though Arsenal were one drunk driver’s to be failed attempt to control and shoot the ball , away from eliminating Barca.

  • WalterBroeckx

    if it would be just Dean but there are others as I will show in the next weeks. Some with even worse numbers than Dean.

  • Rupert Cook

    @John W. I don’t think Nani was trying to injure the player. Don’t think he even knew he was there. Having said that I don’t think the red was harsh.

    RVP should never have got a red.

  • Adam

    Mt initial reaction was, the sending off was harsh, but then I’m used to English officials. I can also completely understand why he sent him off, if only all matches were officiated to the same standard, OH hang on, there supposed to be.

    I’m not surprised by the media reaction, But it is nice that they have just hung themselves with this minimal case study, when UNTOLD can throw a couple of years of data at them.

    You are getting there, Sirs.

    P.S. there is definitely something not right about Dean?

  • WalterBroeckx

    and not just with Arsenal… 😉 but more on that later..

    I should buy me some time from the ones who will do the Arsenal take over 🙂

  • Why did the Ref denied MAN U a penalty when Ramos Blocked the ball with his hand to prove his fairnes on the red card given to NANi. Again WHEN Ramos again shove a disbalance Rafael in the yard? The Ref needs to justify himself with decisions on the pitch.

  • Adam

    You know I’m getting more ideas for articles, but I’m going to stick to my area of “behind the game”. Will get some more stats over to you soon.

  • jax


    Arsenal’s being taken over? OMG, why didn’t I hear about this!

  • Adam

    @Justjoy, if we are to revisit officials decision making can we review the 50th game of Arsenal’s unbeaten run at Old Trafford?

  • Yes, bloody foreigner doesn`t understand the rules, except that he disallowed what apeared to be a good goal by Ramos that “apparently” was a foul on R.V. Persie, although the replay didn`t appear to show it as such.
    I am amazed at the volume of media that has mentioned this disallowed goal, I cant even find one !!
    Why should I be amazed ?, must be getting senile !!

  • AL

    The only other time I can think of when the media went to these lentghs was when Beckham had his metatarsal broken by a certain player playing for Deportivo in the champions league. The player was almost hounded out of playing football. They can be vultures when they like, these media friends of ours.

    I did ask why ferdinand was let off despitie almost clapping the ref’s nose off. And it just wasnt him, Young & Evra also stood a milimieters off the ref’s nose. And ferguson’s finger-waginging at the ref at the final whistle should be viewed as the catalyst of that behaviour from his players. Wenger, & Nasri, were banned for expressing their disappointment with the red card, but to me that was much much less of a crime than what we saw at OT. Like someone already said, rvp’s foul was nothing compared to Nani almost disembowelling Arbeloa’s innards with his studs, intent or no intent. That Nani lay on the ground writhing for a minute or two(the ref had to wait ages for him to get up so he could show him the red, so no denying please that nani tried to fake being injured) shows he knew what kind of trouble he might in for after this tackle. Red card it was, all day long.

  • Joel

    What about Rafael’s handball on the line? Even if you don’t think Nani’s was a red card, United should have had at least one player sent off, so what’s the problem? And, as someone said, what about the goal disallowed for Madrid for, in my opinion, nothing?

  • bob

    Today’s shameless Talkshite is (once again) on bended knee and tucked firmly under Don Fungus’s robes: Witness today’s blaring web headline: “Mourinho’s lucky, but Fergie’s class…” And the accompanying jockshite by their “tell it like it is” hard man (adrian durham) snarls forth on the mike about “the truth”:

    “The truth from Tuesday is that United were robbed. They were in control of the game, completely rocked by a ridiculous decision, and they fell apart. There was no Jose genius – he made substitutions even Benitez would have made. It’s one of the very few games in football history we can in all certainty say was decided by the referee.”

    One of the “few” games? Surely this lying hard man (on the mike, but which?) had first cut his teeth at that eyes-wide-shut Nuremburg rally at Old Toilet, that stood up on its haunches to belch forth their “victory” as our undefeated streak was aborted by the whoring ways of sychophant Micky R. And surely, this wee hard man clapped in rhythm as Don Fergus danced that victory jig of his (as news of victory came in from the Polish front); the dance step that he’s taught to PGMOL-head-to-be Mike Dean (who still trots it when Arsenal loses on his careful watch).

  • Mick

    The despicable radio bully Adrian ‘I deal in facts’ Durham now writes for the mailonline where you can read his rubbish in addition to hearing it on talkshite. Check it out.

  • bob

    Cheers, Mick.
    What a piece of work. I realize why he’s been hired; but so painfully sad that there’s an audience for his masquerade.

  • A. Stewart

    “Since last Tuesday the whole English press is on this manhunt of the ref that dared to send a Manchester United player off at Old Trafford.”

    Summarizing it as that is just deliberately not giving the and accurate picture.

    It’s not just the English press, it’s the worldwide football press (as I think you alluded too later), and it’s not just the press, but actually many of the people who actually play and have played the game including well beyond England, with the vast majority of them chiming in questioning the call (Keane with an ax to grind, the obvious exception), and many players with no affinity to United, but an affinity to football and questioning the call.

    So just biased viewing this through the prism of it being Manchester United and not the legitimate questions by so many intricately connected to the game with no reason to be in support of United, rather than talking about the actual incident and its merit in isolation is transparent. It’s so weird seeing UA going to these lengths to be “understandable” to a ref.

    Why pretend this is just about the English Media or even the Media in general.. it appears to be the vast majority of players who actually play the game who have no affinity to any media outlet or United who question the call too.

    Moreover, by complaining about the coverage, are we trying to pretend that this wasn’t a legitimately controversial call on one of the biggest stages? We’re not talking about your average weekend league game here, we’re talking about arguably the two biggest followed sports teams in the world in a delicately poised second half of a second leg knockout UCL match with a good chunk of the world’s population watching.

    Of course considering all of that it’s going to deservedly get a lot of attention, attention that is perfectly proportionate to the magnitude of the match, moment and incident.

  • A. Stewart


  • A. Stewart

    Comments not going through…
    Glitch or deliberate?

  • WalterBroeckx

    All fine and well A. Stewart.

    I notice of course in my press that the which hunt is based on and backed up by sources and the articles begin with “acccording the English newspaper …..” and then fill in with which newspaper they have an agreement with to take their articles from. So their venom is just spread and repeated over the whole world. That is something you don’t mention.

    But the decision being right or wrong is not really the point. Where is the cry when Arsenal gets screwed? Or is it then maybe ah business as usual so no big deal. As for MU it is a big deal as it only happens very rare.

    That is the whole point of this article.

    And to be honest most referees I heard talking about it agreed with the decision from the ref on the field.

    But of course feel free to believe the pundits who put the whistle in another opening of there body, where it might produce some noise every now and then when they would have to referee a game.
    Feel free to believe the experts ex-football players who all eat their well buttered sandwich by agreeing with the experts or they risk being out of business and out of income.

    I have given enough examples on how they know nothing about the laws of the game in the past but if you still believe them when it comes to that, feel free.

  • americangooner

    I think the point of this article to me was if the English media can obsess with a decision made by a referee in a highly competitive game at old toilet why doesn’t it make the same noise when other teams like chelsea or arsenal are involved? I didn’t hear the same witch hunting when the referee had posed wearing a barca shirt before our CL final. I also have yet to hear from the media of the sort of anomaly dean is and despite the stats, he is given more arsenal matches to officiate. Everyone knows he is the least competitive & hugely biased referee, yet he is given the golden opportunity to officiate competitive arsenal matches.
    Yes, our team has not been performing good on a consistent basis. However our form doesn’t take out bad refree decisions every now & then out of the equation. To think that majority of english refs are competitive is foolish. Its even foolish to think that the refs don’t have any precedent over our or other team’s result(s).

  • A. Stewart

    “But the decision being right or wrong is not really the point. ”

    It’s definitely not the point of your posting, but I don’t understand how you can attempt to have an honest conversation about the decision itself, especially given the magnitude of the decision, the moment, and the global interest in and following of the teams involved.

    “Where is the cry when Arsenal gets screwed?”

    Exactly, and this is the entire point of how you framed this article (and you’re well within your rights to do so as it’s a pro-AFC blog, but it still doesn’t allow for an honest discussion of the incident and the fallout). As an FYI there was a big outcry for RvP getting screwed with his second yellow against Barca for not hearing the whistle. As big as this? certainly not. But Barca/Arsenal (especially AFC of the recent years) is not nearly as big globally as Madrid/United and regardless of the merits of the incident, the coverage is proportionate to the magnitude of the event, and it’s not necessarily a bias, but rather a big match, a bigger story, bigger following involved, bigger interest etc is simply going to garnish bigger coverage from the off, even before considering any legitimately controversial incident and it’s almost direct effect such as Nani’s.

    “As for MU it is a big deal as it only happens very rare.

    That is the whole point of this article.”

    I’m sorry, framing it so overly and deliberately simplistically is a bit intellectually dishonest. United and Madrid are two of if not the biggest followed teams of all sports on this planet, so regardless of any incident just these two playing each other on that stage is going to necessitate increased magnitudes of coverage. And then the actual incident (which you do not want to discuss) is highly controversial with a direct/immediate effect on the match, so it’s obvious that it is going to be covered with that magnitude, and it deserves to be and it’s entirely proportionate, not biased as is the suggestion of this posting.

    “And to be honest most referees I heard talking about it agreed with the decision from the ref on the field.

    But of course feel free to believe the pundits who put the whistle in another opening of there body, where it might produce some noise every now and then when they would have to referee a game.
    Feel free to believe the experts ex-football players who all eat their well buttered sandwich by agreeing with the experts or they risk being out of business and out of income.”

    Again regardless of your anecdotal evidence about the refs you’ve talked to at whatever level of reffing, it’s not just pundits, nor ex-players that’s I’m believing..

    Moreover, never did I say what my opinion on the call was in the first place, rather all I was saying is that the coverage is legitimately proportionate..Thought that was clear.

    But yeah, back to the point, it’s not just the so-called pundits and ex-players, but many CURRENT players from all over Europe and all over the world (with no reason to be biased towards United nor Madrid) were opining immediately and since via Twitter for example, and from what I saw virtually all of those who actually play the game thought it was the wrong decision.

    “I have given enough examples on how they know nothing about the laws of the game in the past but if you still believe them when it comes to that, feel free.

    Again I frame my arguments pretty carefully and try to make them as plain as day as to what my principal points are. It was never about what I BELIEVE with regards to the incidents but rather about:
    a) the coverage being proportionate to the magnitude of the moment/incident.
    b)It being incorrect to frame this entire posting as about the English Media Witch-hunt, or the Media in the first place, because the fallout was simply not just limited to “the media”.

    And again, just so it’s clear, my arguments presented have zero to do with what I believe (beyond simply believing the incident was legitimately controversial) about the incident being correct, nor did I give you any indication whatsoever, that I was believing “so called experts/ex-players who all eat their well buttered sandwich” etc

    Because if it wasn’t clear, even though I explicitly stated it numerous times, you cannot have an honest conversation about the coverage/fallout without an honest conversation about the incident, and since you have openly stated you are not discussing the incident, I’m not sure why you are making suppositions about what I supposedly believe about it, but as you say…”feel free”.

  • A. Stewart

    Not to mention the title of the article is “Ref Cakir: is he a cheat? Or are others cheating the public?”

    But yet you openly admit that you are not interested in actually addressing the very first question you posed, and that the very first question you posed is not the point of the article, and thus not relevant to the second question you posed (and the second question you posed not contingent upon the first) in the title?

    I’m sorry, but with due respect, that makes no sense, if you are going to entitle this post as such.

  • Adam

    I’ve stated before that the decision could have been red or yellow, I was expecting a booking so was surprised.

    However, Nani tried to control the ball with a very high boot without knowing if his surroundings were clear for such a attempt. Hence dangerous play and the refs decision.

    If Nani had looked and pulled out, no harm done.

    If Nani had looked and still gone for the ball, well I would expect a straight red and criminal charges.

    But he didn’t look he assumed he was ok to make this attempt at controlling the ball.

    A player should anticipate a challenge. especially in that kind of game, with so much at stake, nothing stays still on a football pitch for long (unless you play in defence for Arsenal, SORRY).

    Another incident.

    I actually thought Manchester United should have got a penalty when Real’s goalkeeper missed the ball with a fist and caught Vidic. Again for me dangerous play and an area of the game that needs looking at because its an accident waiting to happen, which the rules allow for.

  • A. Stewart

    “I think the point of this article to me was if the English media can obsess with a decision made by a referee in a highly competitive game at old toilet why doesn’t it make the same noise when other teams like chelsea or arsenal are involved?”

    Yeah apparently that’s what it was..and this part of the articles title “Ref Cakir: is he a cheat?” actually had nothing to do with the article and wasn’t intended to be discussed, forgive me for thinking the article’s title and opening question was actually part of the point and fair grounds for discussion. Silly me.

  • A. Stewart

    Adam, discussing the merits of the decision is explicitly not the point of this posting (So I won’t debate you on that, nor inject my opinions about the decision, which may surprise you to be honest.)

    I got that from the off, thus I was more discussing the merits of the coverage.

  • A. Stewart

    Ah ef it, my opinion is that I think it could have gone either way yellow or red, and while I think it was legitimately a very controversial call (particularly because imo there was no intent as Nani was fixed on the ball)and thus I understand the fallout, I had NO PROBLEM with the ref giving a red there.

    Sorry to stray off topic Walter 🙂

  • Adam

    I think your all missing the point, and that is the differing standards across our sport.

  • A. Stewart

    I’m not missing that point at all Adam, there is inconsistency is refeering/umpiring of any and all sports due to the inherent human element.

  • americangooner

    I think the media is trying to frame a non-controversy into a controversial talking point. When I was training for football, my coach used to instruct me to be aware of the surroundings. Clearly nani didn’t see it fit to be aware – a point also made by the abominable Roy Keane. How can a player not be aware of his surroundings? I also haven’t seen a player lunge like that with the boots so high if arbeloa wasn’t jumping it would have probably injured his chin. So for me the decision is not harsh.

  • A. Stewart

    “I think the media is trying to frame a non-controversy into a controversial talking point. ”

    I don’t think that’s true at all. I think the call was legitimately controversial (note that doesn’t mean that it was wrong necessarily), and the fallout and outcry was really not just limited to the media, and is largely organic amongst the football loving/following public, players current and ex and beyond. It’s not about the media, and the English media at that (it’s bigger than them) trying to gin up an artificical controversy. But ah well, to each their own.

  • Adam

    You only have to look at the technology behind Formula 1 racing to know that human error can be combated via technology, even tennis has tech, Rugby has tech, American football as well, so for you to compare it with other sports actually highlights this inadequacy.

    The amount of money involved in football would allow for the professional game to clean up its act.

    Agree the press reporting is proportional, but could you also concede that we don’t get the coverage required that would highlight the issues stated.

  • Andrei

    I spoke to a person who is in charge of ref certification for FIFA youth program here in Minnesota and appears in the know of politics involved in being FIFA/UEFA referee. He had an interesting view on the incident – in his opinion sending off was a safe bet for the referee. He would have come under tremendous pressure no matter how he had called it. So he decided to play it safe by the book as the misconduct had all required ingrediends to be adjudged as ‘serous foul play’ as per FIFA guidelines. Quote: ‘Nani lunged into the air with outstreched leg and studs up and he was not in cotrol of his body. On the top of that he was looking in the different direction when jumping and as a result was not aware of Arbeloa’s presence. All this combined is a sure recipe to get red carded’.

  • A. Stewart

    The real-time outrage/questioning of the call amongst so many of the football loving public WORLDWIDE (per social outlets etc) surrounding that incident was very very huge. To suggest that the media instantly ginned up a controversy and instantly influenced so many thousands of minds if not more realistically millions (not necessarily connected to either team) as expressing some discomfort with the decision (as though their opinions weren’t their own) doesn’t reflect reality imo. The controversy was and is legitimate and given the magnitude of the moment,stage, and those involved, the coverage of the controversy was propotionate.

  • AL

    A. Stewart
    I think you will find that our game with Barcelona had the world riveted. I remember most of the stories that were going round then were who would come out on top in a game between two teams whose philosophies are attack, attack, and attack. Not to mention passing the other sides off the park. Also given Arsenal had won the first leg there was even more interest in that game.

    The Englsih media lead, and everybody else follows, fact. What they start will eventually become world news, whether people like it or not. You don’t have to look further than how they ‘cost’ England the chance of hosting the world cup, as stated by Blatter. Or how an innocouous dive by Eduardo ended up with Blatter being interviewed and forced to give his opinion of the whole incident after the Englsih media had successfully lobbied Uefa to punish him( was that the worst dive you have seen from any player in England? I dont think so. I think the point of this article is saying that English media can cause a ruckus when they want to; and so far it appears its only when they feel their darlings have been wronged.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I didn’t want to talk about the incident itself at first. But after 50+ comments ore thereabouts here is my take.

    But after just seen Andrei his comment… I can say that the person he spoke with was talking very sensible.

    If you want to control a ball high in the air like Nani did or tried to do you are responsible for your actions.
    And you cannot fly in the air as a kung fu warrior without checking if there is someone standing in that area. Nani was not careful, he was reckless, he was not in control of his body. And being not in control of your body is simply not done on a football field.
    That Taylor bloke threw himself towards Eduardo. (shiver) and by throwing himself he was not in control of his body. And when you are not in control of you body such terrible things can happen.
    Now the outcome of the incident is not really important. The way you have gone in to the challenge (reckless, out of control) is enough to produce a red card.

    I like to give an example. Just imagine a football player jumping in the air with his studs and flying towards an opponent his head.
    That is always a red card. It doesn’t matter if he touches him (hopefully not) or not. The act is completely not done because it is dangerous, reckless and you can seriously injury someone.
    The fact that he didn’t see him can even be used as a further evidence of him being reckless and committing serious foul play. Nani had to make sure that there would be nobody near him before he lunged himself towards the ball with his feet that high.
    Before you jump in the air with a high raised foot and studs showing you have to make sure you don’t bring another player in danger. In fact it is totally disrespectful from Nani to go in like that. As if he didn’t care about his fellow professionals. But that is more the moral side of the story I would say and isn’t something that the ref should look at.

    Bottom line if you willingly or not (doesn’t matter in fact) endanger another person you can and should be sent off.

  • Sav from Australia

    @A Stewart

    You work for Sky don’t you? Or the PGMOL? Or Man Utd?
    Do everyone a favour and take a timeout.

  • bjtgooner

    The problem with the MU manager and fans is that under the auspices of the PGMOL MU players often get away with fouls that others will not. I can remember an Evans karate type kick on Drogba and I think Ferdinand produced one on an Arsenal player – neither called (certainly not red). Hence there is surprise when a non-PGMOL ref correctly produces a red for Nani kicking an opponent just about heart level.

    The fuss kicked up (no pun intended) by the Red Nose disciples shows just how biased and misguided they have become.

  • Tasos

    Alex Ferguson revealed today that he has banned two more British newspapers from his media conference “until they apologise” over the Wayne Rooney story.

    The man is a thug, a complete bully.

  • bob

    To put a fine point on your fine point, they’ve been what they are at least since they co-produced the crime scene at Old Toilet when they stopped our run. This is well deserved karma, and the unity and volume of the squealing hyenas of the UK press corpse proves how wrong they are. Complete bullies who feel their sense of entitlement crash against a wall that won’t bend over to the juggernaut of the Rednose XX. He and RVP will not get their cherished double and that’s a good start for the business end. Now if only we’d do our bit.

  • bob

    Thanks for the moderation. Would that be for my immoderations? 🙂

  • bob

    Is Lord Football getting a free pass from the rest of the sycophantic press for banning those two papers? Which ones?

  • Tasos


    Not 100% sure but word has it its “The Sun” & “D Mail” who have written something anti-Man Utd.

    Why haven’t they(the journalists) got the cojoners to stand together and all walk-out on the dictators conference once he bans one of there fellow associate’s.

  • AL

    He’s banned the DM & The Independent. This fool is to football what a dictator is to a third world country; a tyrant & a bully, with no accountability as they think everyone’s there to serve them, & corrupt. The sooner he leaves football the better, the issue is how long will it take to undo the damage he is causing.

  • AL

    An interesting article, esp the bit about how the English media loves bashing john foreigner.–stop-excuses-Why-Luis-Suarez-cheat–DES-KELLY.html

  • AL

    Meant johnny foreigner….

  • Mark

    Good point Walter! The press is making a story of this only because of Man U. It was a red card offence and it should have been given as a red card. But the Man U folk are so used to getting away with this kind of stuff they see it as bias. I doubt that any EPL ref would have sent Nani off.

  • ARSENAL 13

    well, I had a discussion about NANI red with a ManUtd friend on his Facebook wall. I asked him ‘Give me one reason why Nani shouldnt have seen a red?’ Answer I got..’Well, Alba (whatever) was nowhere near Nani when Nani went for the ball. So it was Albas (whatever) fault that he ended up at the end of Nanis studs.’

    My take on this incident (as I saw it): Nani was aware of the players presence. Thats the reason why Nani went flying in. He was expecting his actions would put off Alba (whatever). IF Nani was not aware of the player moving towards the ball, he would have taken his own sweet time to collect the ball. I dont think there was intention to hurt the player, but two footed lunge with high boot is mostly given red. AND you dont need to teach the spanish teams to make the most of such situations….do you.

  • Rupert Cook

    I don’t think Nani was aware of the player at all. Was it a red card? Yes, I think it was.

    @Sav Australia, give it a rest, people don’t need to be paid to have conflicting views and even if A. Stewart did work for these organizations you suggest he still gives reasoned and constructive answers.

  • bjtgooner

    @Rupert (depressive Russian AAA sewer rat)

    It is a bit much for you to tell someone else to “give it a rest” when you continually pollute this site with your arrogant verbal diarrhoea.

  • AL

    I still haven’t seen a satisfactory response – from A. Stewart, Rupert, or anyone else defending Nani – why Nani spent quite a considerable amount of time writhing on the ground? Was he hurt? If so how was he hurt? Was he aware of how dangerous his tackle was & the impending punishment that he was trying to influence the ref into not punishing him?
    His actions alone show that he knew he’d gone in high, had made contact with the other player’s rib cage and was most certainly going to get punished for it. Nani was aware of Aberloa’s presence, otherwise, as Arsenal 13 pointed out, how else could anyone explain him trying to bring the ball down by leaping so high if in his mind he wasn’t contesting the ball with anyone?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, I’m not defending Nani at all. Writhing on the ground seems to be a default setting for most players when they think they’re in trouble. Personally I don’t think he saw Arbeloa and the reason he leaped so high was to stop the ball going past him, a natural reaction which I imagine we’ve all done when playing. Anyway only he knows whether he knew Arbeloa was there or not so it’s a bit pointless arguing over something neither of us can prove.

    And yes I think it was a red card so what’s the problem?

  • AL

    Rupert, you’re saying it was a red but others are not. The problem with you came in when you started suggesting he was not aware of the other player’s presence when his actions show otherwise. We don’t need to prove anything, we all saw what happened, he wasn’t bringing down a cross that requires the need to raise one’s foot so high. The ball was moving downwards, and the only thing he needed do was control the ball so it doesn’t bounce high and away from him. No need to leap that high to do that. Also, if you DID play the game as you claim, to bring a ball down you do so with the bottom of your foot facing downwards. Or in other words the studs should be facing the ground. And certainly not perpendicular to the ground as you run the risk of the ball hitting your shin and bouncing off. You need to use the outside palm of your foot, which would mean his toes would have made the contact rather than the studs.

    That move was so inconsistent with bringing a ball down, and was designed to put the other player off, but it also endangered him in the process. Intention to injure may not be likely, but to bully someone off the ball. And dangerous, yes. Red card deserved.

  • nihirealist


    “To suggest that the media instantly ginned up a controversy and instantly influenced so many thousands of minds if not more realistically millions (not necessarily connected to either team) as expressing some discomfort with the decision (as though their opinions weren’t their own) doesn’t reflect reality imo”

    Umm..hello??!!! The match was still going on when the commentator (who was there next to Martin Tyler, don’t know who) started saying things like the referee has an agenda, and it is not in ManU’s favour. Said that ManU’s players can’t be faulted. They’ve been undone by a piece of skulduggery.. It doesn’t get more instant a reaction than that.

    And as soon as the match ended, the studio expert in my part of the world brought up the Asian betting scandal and said this match should be investigated. Just to show that it wasn’t one idiot with a microphone making a noise. It was at least 2. Both put in positions to air their views by the mainstream media (who have a monopoly over the TV rights), and the narrative of United being cheated was already made up less than 10mins after the incident. Tell me now whose view doesn’t reflect reality.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What’s the fuss about ? We are continuously and reliably informed that such happenings will even out over the season.
    Wait…..ManUre are out ! Does that mean that the above is not true ? Were we being misled ?
    And I believe that Rio Ferdinand was just being kind to the ref!
    Walter – holiday to Costa del Where-the-sol-doan-shine ? Mucho arseholes there !

  • Grumpy man

    I watched the match on TV. They had three ex-players in the studio. Two said that it was high and dangerous, it could have been a yellow, but OK, it was a red. Roy Keane had no doubt “Red card, off”.That didn’t seem to fit with the “we wuz robbed” agenda, so they kept banging on about it.
    I could be wrong, but I think that Real Madrid’s two goals might have had a little to do with why Man Utd are out.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, having just watched it again Nani’s intently watching the ball coming down and doing what is the most natural thing to do in that position, sticking out a foot to control it. I doubt he saw Arbeloa.

    Anyway he got sent off, Manu lost and we all felt a massive surge of schadenfreude.

  • As did Vanper$ie he was looking at the ball and he never hard the refs whistle but it was okay and no fuss but when it comes to Manure its a curse.Thanks to GOD we will not have any tremble vibes anymore.@bjtgooner i’m beginning to believe in you because if brother rupert is AAA sewer rat and he says nothing really i take it with a pitch of salt.

  • Adam

    Just found out that Pierluigi Collina (the hills have eyes)was the referee’s observer for the Man U Ream Madrid game, so will be interesting to find out if anything further happens once his report is filed.

    Options are, rescind the red, stick with a one match ban or increase to a three match ban.