Rio Ferdinand is likely to find out today whether he will face disciplinary action for sarcastically applauding Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
UEFA have already confirmed they have opened a case into Alex Ferguson failing to carry out contractual post-match media obligations, in addition to an assessment of whether Nani’s red card is worthy of punishment beyond an automatic one-match ban.
But Ferdinand is yet to hear whether he will face punishment for his reaction to the 2-1 defeat, which he believed was caused directly by Cakir’s decision to dismiss Nani for a debatable challenge on former Liverpool man Alvaro Arbeloa.
Whilst there were some suggestions Ferdinand will not face any action, it has to be remembered Wayne Rooney was sent off by Kim Milton Nielsen in 2005 when he did exactly the same to the Dane during United’s encounter with Villarreal.
And given how Ferguson is feeling about UEFA just now, he will feel nothing would surprise him.
“UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United FC for [the] red card of Nani [and] post-match media obligations not fulfilled [under] III 2.6 and 2.7 of the competition regulations. The case will be dealt with by the Uefa control and disciplinary body on Thursday, March 21,” read a statement from Europe’s governing body.
There will be an element of Ferguson feeling it is damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Such was the United manager’s anger at Cakir he could not trust either himself, or his players, to speak to the media without saying something that would land themselves, and their club, in very hot water indeed.
Yet Ferguson was suspicious of Cakir prior to the game and feels those concerns were fully justified given the manner in which he turned the entire complexion of a tie that appeared to be heading in United’s direction.
A more considered assessment is likely to come tomorrow, when Ferguson is expected to hold his usual Friday briefing to preview Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea.