Should Real be punished if red cards are deemed deliberate?

November 24, 2010

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/It’s one of the most farcical scenes I’ve ever seen in soccer. Real Madrid duo Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos taking ages to take kicks in the 4-0 win at Ajax and getting second yellow cards for timewasting and hence being sent off.

Deliberate? They face automatic one-match suspensions in the final group game against Auxerre, which is a dead match for Real with the Spanish club already assured of first place in Group G and qualification for the last 16.

However, the red cards mean they will have a clean slate when the round of 16 begins, assuming UEFA hand them only the mandatory one-match ban.

Players have got yellow cards on purpose for similar reasons in the past. Real are not commenting but if these two players did it deliberately, they could be in trouble. Was coach Jose Mourinho aware?

If it was done on purpose, surely it is not in the spirit of the game and some would say disrespectful to a famous name like Ajax and a competition Real are meant to hold dear given they are nine-times champions.

On the other hand, at least they did not go round kicking and possibly injuring someone in order to get a second yellow, even if that might have been less obvious.

So what can UEFA do if it rules the second yellows were deliberate? Finding proof is tricky.

Precedent shows UEFA fined Olympique Lyon players Cris and Juninho in 2008 for the offence in the Champions League but the tactic paid off for the two Brazilians who could then compete in the tournament’s first knockout round with their disciplinary record wiped clean.

Raul was involved in a similar episode with a handball goal while playing for Real in 2001. He got off on appeal.

So clever tactic or disgraceful behaviour? UEFA, which has yet to decide on the latest incident, has to give out a strong message.

PHOTO: Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso leaves the pitch after he received a red card during their Champions League Group G soccer match against Ajax Amsterdam in Amsterdam November 23, 2010. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos


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The precedent seems to be that if they are deemed to have deliberately sought bookings they will be in line for fines rather than extra suspensions. The difference here, I suppose, could be if UEFA decided to take action against the coach as well. In any case, I think the key point is that while any such behaviour may well constitute a lack of respect, and could be deemed to be beneath a great club like Real, it’s not like they tried to injure anyone. Lengthy bans would surely be over the top, no?

Posted by Kevinfreuters | Report as abusive

the punishments are in. Mourinho gets two match ban (one suspended) and the players all fined. The one match bans for Alonso and Ramos stand….so in a way the tactic worked.

Posted by MarkMeadows | Report as abusive

Yes Mourinho should be suspended for min. of 5 games and each of the players for 4 games. What they did was uncalled for for UEFA should use Real as an example

Posted by ron1.0 | Report as abusive