Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir caused controversy last night when he sent off Manchester United winger Nani in the Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
United were 2-1 ahead on aggregate when Cakir deemed Nani’s challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa to be a dangerous one. Come the full-time whistle, they were 3-2 down and out of the competition.
Cakir has officiated games involving British and Irish teams before and history shows Nani is not the first player he has dismissed. Here, we look at who else has been given an early bath by Cakir.
MARIO BALOTELLI – MANCHESTER CITY v DYNAMO KIEV, 2011
Italy striker Balotelli was branded as “stupid” by manager Roberto Mancini for a studs-up kick into the chest of Goran Popov, leaving Cakir with little choice but to send him off.
JOHN TERRY – CHELSEA v BARCELONA, 2012
One of the most famous nights in Chelsea’s history – their Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona in the Nou Camp – ended without their captain. Terry was sent off two minutes after Barca levelled at 1-1 on aggregate, guilty of kicking out at Alexis Sanchez. He was raging at the time, but later apologised to his club’s fans.
KEITH ANDREWS – REPUBLIC OF IRELAND v ITALY, 2012
Republic of Ireland midfielder Andrews was shown a second yellow card by Cakir for dissent - another low point in his country’s miserable Euro 2012 campaign.
Note Gary Breen's comment in the video below: "I think this referee has been ridiculously fussy all night."
STEVEN GERRARD – ENGLAND v UKRAINE, 2012
England captain Gerrard received the first red card of his national team career when Cakir showed him two yellow cards in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley. “I don’t think there was a bad tackle in the game, was there? And I think the referee’s given seven yellow cards,” the Liverpool midfielder said.
GARY CAHILL – CHELSEA v CORINTHIANS, 2012
Defender Cahill got tangled with Emerson in the last minute and, after appearing to be struck himself, lashed out at the Brazil international. “It probably is a red card but the reaction of the guy is totally out of order for what I did,” he said. “Someone’s smashed me in the face but I didn’t roll around on the floor for five minutes holding my head.”