UEFA has opened disciplinary procedures against Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and four of the club’s players for improper conduct during their 4-0 Champions League win against Ajax.
Along with the manager, red carded players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos as well as captain Iker Casillas and reserve goalkeeper Jerzy Dude all face fines for their involvement in the controversial dismissals in the game on Tuesday.
The two players were shown second yellow cards for timewasting, picking up suspensions for the meaningless tie against Auxerre, rather than risking a ban during the knockout stages.
UEFA is dead wrong to do this, and is wasting everyone’s time.
The plan concucted by Real Madrid may have been underhand, but it was entirely within the rules – they had performed well enough to have this advantage, and they used it.
Both dismissals were technical yellow cards, nobody was hurt, and the result was unaffected.
Neither player was guaranteed to be played, let alone booked, in the Auxerre match, with Real Madrid already through the groups, and with the Ajax game already won, I fail to see their actions as particularly unsporting against any side specifically.
I see this as the same as resting a player to avoid them picking up an injury – is that unsporting behaviour or intelligent management?
This was a tactic to expose a flaw in the system, and as such action should taken against the system and not the team that used it to their advantage.