25 Nov 2010

Real Madrid players deliberately incite red cards?

5:51 am on 25 November 2010

European football's governing body UEFA will complete a routine study of match reports before deciding whether to take any action following Spanish media reports that two Real Madrid players deliberately provoked red cards in their Champions League victory over Ajax on Wednesday.

Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso were both dismissed late in the 4-nil win away to Ajax Amsterdam after picking up second yellow cards for time-wasting.

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.

The red cards mean they will have a clean slate for the next round, assuming UEFA hand them only the mandatory one-match ban.

Spanish sports daily Marca summed up comment across the country's media, saying Real Madrid's great match was overshadowed by the self-inflicted sendings-off which had the aim of not accumulating yellow cards before the last sixteen.

However, Ramos denied to the same newspaper that his red card was deliberate.

Two years ago, UEFA fined Olympique Lyon players Cris and Juninho 15,000 euros ($26,293) and 10,000 euros ($17,529) respectively for getting deliberately booked during a Champions League match against Fiorentina.