Roy Keane was quick to leap to the defence of the referee after the Manchester United v Real Madrid game as Adrian Chiles presented the panel with a carefully edited version of FIFA’s official rule-book that almost deliberately played devil’s advocate in favour of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir.
Keane believes the decision was right and given the offence that the Irishman felt was being broken was ‘serious foul play’ you would have to say the former Manchester United player is something of an expert on the subject.
Although to be blunt Keane was wrong.
‘’A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.’’
- ‘’using excessive force’’ means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent
Nani at no point ‘far exceeded the necessary force’ for his believed course of action which was an attempt to control the ball therefore he did not use excessive force.
In regards to the basic rules of cautioning/expelling a player from the field of play the referees have a code of three levels of how the foul was carried out.
- Excessive force
Excessive force is the only one regarding this course of action that is punishable by a red card and it again needs excessive necessary force to meet the criteria; not something Nani did.
Reckless force means the player acted with ‘complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent’ which seems to fit the bill more for Nani; the requisite punishment would be a yellow card.
If Nani was not to be booked he would have to of acted ‘carelessly’ meaning he showed ‘a lack of attention or consideration when making his challenge or that he acted without precaution’. Again this could be applied to Nani’s challenge meaning he did not even deserve a booking for his misdemeanour.
The rules are ambiguous meaning anyone can read into them what they will but a sending off seemed more than just harsh for the Portuguese winger and as for Roy Keane and Adrian Chiles; they seemed to enjoy getting a kick out of being controversial for the fun of it.
What did you make of Roy Keane's comments?
image: © joncandy