- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: SOCCER - Darren Fletcher red card must stand, say UEFA
- Date: 8th May 2009
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 5, 2009) (REUTERS) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER ALEX FERGUSON WALKING INTO NEWS CONFERENCE CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER ALEX FERGUSON SAYING: "He is disappointed of course, and that's why he'll be distraught."
- Embargoed: 23rd May 2009 13:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAEQUSHREV4Y77XG7FAVLK90AZ8
- Story Text: Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is destined to miss the Champions League final after UEFA rule out any chance over overturning his controversial semi-final sending off against Arsenal.
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the Champions League final in Rome later this month after UEFA on Wednesday (May 6) said there was no chance of overturning the red card he received against Arsenal on Tuesday (May 5).
Fletcher had a superb game as United demolished Arsenal 3-1 in the second leg of their semi-final at the Emirates Stadium, but was sent off by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti for a 75th-minute challenge on Cesc Fabregas.
UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner told Reuters on Wednesday while United had the right to protest the decision, there was nothing in UEFA's rules that would allow Fletcher to escape the ban.
Even if Rosetti was to admit his decision was wrong, the red card would still stand under UEFA's disciplinary regulations, which only allows red cards to be rescinded for cases of mistaken identity.
Television replays showed the 25-year-old Scottish international played the ball before colliding with Arsenal skipper Fabregas.
Manager Alex Ferguson said after Tuesday's match the player was distraught but the club had no plans to appeal to the referee to review his decision.
"I don't think we should ask him, to be honest with you. I think he's competent enough and fair enough to look at it himself possibly. But apparently you can't appeal and if that's the case then it's disappointing for the boy. He's one of the most honest players in the game and to miss the final is a tragedy," said Ferguson.
Fletcher's team mates were bitterly disappointed for the 25-year-old Scot.
"He played most of the important games and now he didn't make the final," said double goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Captain Rio Ferdinand added: "It is disappointing but Darren has got broad enough shoulders to be able to move on and take it on the chin. I think it was a bad decision, I thought the referee had a good game really other than that. But no one is perfect, he is human the referee so he is going to make mistakes. Everybody is really disappointed about Fletch."
Veteran Ryan Giggs said: "We're obviously disappointed for Darren because he had such a good game and he's played so well this season and has been a massive part of the team. All the lads are gutted for him."
The Manchester side now have the chance to become the first club since the Champions League started in 1992-93 to retain the title.
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