Champions League reaction

United ask UEFA to overturn Fletcher red card

May 6, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Manchester United have asked UEFA to overturn Darren Fletcher's red card against Arsenal on compassionate grounds.

AllsportDarren Fletcher's harsh sending off seems certain to rule him out of playing in Rome.

The Scotland international was dismissed late on in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final win over Arsenal for a professional foul on Cesc Fabregas.

Replays showed Fletcher had in fact played the ball but UEFA confirmed on Wednesday that United do not have the right to appeal against the referee's decision.

However, UEFA general secretary David Taylor has now revealed an avenue of appeal could be open to United over the card which dashed Fletcher's Champions League final hopes.

As things stand Fletcher will sit out the final against Barcelona in Rome later this month but Taylor has hinted at a reprieve for the combative midfielder.

''I have spoken with Alex Ferguson personally on this - as fate would have it we shared a car after the match. We were rather thrown together but had an interesting discussion,'' Taylor told The Sun. ''He was very fair about the referee and what had happened but equally he was very disappointed for Darren, as are we all.

''I tried to give Alex as much advice as I could with regards the procedure in these circumstances.

''There is no formal process. But if the club want to write to us with information - such as video evidence - explaining why they think this is a harsh punishment then they can do that.

''The likelihood is that we'd then refer the matter to our disciplinary body.

''They would then look to see if there were any special circumstances to justify any departure from established procedures. I must stress there is normally no way these matters can be overturned.''

Fletcher's hopes could hang referee Roberto Rosetti admitting to his apparent error in his match report, but Taylor concedes such an admission may not be enough to reverse the red card.

''The ref may take the view a mistake has been made and include that in his report but that wouldn't be in any way decisive,'' he continued. ''It's an entirely discretionary thing, whether or not the committee feels there is reason to intervene.

''That's the position. Strictly speaking there's no appeal process but representation can be made and looked at.''