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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Man U appeal to UEFA over Fletcher ban

Man U appeal to UEFA over Fletcher ban

May 08, 2009 12:11 IST

Manchester United have asked UEFA to overturn the controversial red card that will keep midfielder Darren Fletcher out of the Champions League final, British newspapers reported on Friday.

Fletcher was sent off for what looked a fair challenge on Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas late in Tuesday's semi-final second leg at the Emirates, which United won 3-1 to progress 4-1 on aggregate.

UEFA said the only grounds for appeal were in a case of mistaken identity -- which is not an issue with Fletcher.

However, British newspapers said United, encouraged by comments from the European governing body's general secretary David Taylor, have asked if UEFA believes referee Roberto Rosetti's decision was correct in the hope it may be reviewed.

"I've spoken with Alex Ferguson personally on this - as fate would have it we shared a car after the match," Taylor told Thursday's Sun newspaper.

"Strictly speaking there is no appeal process but representation can be made.


"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 we'd refer it to our disciplinary body. They would then look to see if there were any special circumstances to justify any departure from established procedures."

A UEFA spokesman was quoted by British newspapers on Friday saying: "The letter will go to our control and disciplinary body and they will decide whether the protest is admissible and, if it is, whether it is accepted or rejected.

"The chances of an appeal being successful are quite slim because a protest is only admissible on the grounds of mistaken identity and that is not the case in this instance.

"The referee made it clear in his report that the red card was for denying a goalscoring opportunity. That was a factual decision by the referee and you cannot change factual decisions by the referee."

United will play Barcelona in the final in Rome on May 27, when the Spaniards will have two players suspended -- Daniel Alves and Eric Abidal, who was sent off in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea that sent them through on the away goals rule.

Mitch Phillips
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