Morning Ticker: UEFA to probe Real Madrid cards, Fabregas out and more

Real Madrid (Getty)


Two late red cards are unusual in the late stages of any match, but in Tuesday's Champions League game, Real Madrid players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were both sent off for time wasting, earning second yellow cards.

Wednesday morning, UEFA announced that they are investigating both dismissals, under the idea that both Alonso and Ramos intentionally earned the cards. Real Madrid has already qualified for the knockout rounds and will miss the meaningless final group game against Auxerre. By earning red cards in the fifth match, Alonso and Ramos would enter the knockout stages with a clean disciplinary record.

The possibility of an extended ban for the players exists, under the UEFA rules and articles on sportsmanship, if both were to be found at fault.

Here are a few other stories for Wednesday:


In the wake of another Champions League defeat, Arsene Wenger admitted that playing Fabregas was a risk. And when the 23-year-old Spanish midfielder had to be substituted when a hamstring problem recurred. As a result, Fabregas could miss up to three weeks for Arsenal.


Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, will miss the next seven games for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal. The tempermental attacker bit Bakkal in Saturday's Eredivise action, which went unnoticed by the referee. Suarez had already been given a fine and a two-game ban from his club Ajax, but the Dutch soccer federation stepped in to extend the team-imposted suspension five more games.


A referee crisis in Scotland could be temporarily solved this weekend, with the Scottish Football Association considering using a team of four referees from Wales to fill in for games on Saturday and Sunday. Scottish referees are planning to strike as a result of perceived criticism and abuse this season.


Manchester City could sell forward Emmanuel Adebayor in the next transfer window, according to first-team coach David Platt. Adebayor has seen himself consigned to a substitute's role throughout much of the season, and has previously expressed his interest in a move to Juventus in the past.


What do you think of Real Madrid's red cards yesterday? Can Arsenal bounce back without Fabregas? Is seven games a good number for Suarez?

Share your thoughts below.


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32 Responses to Morning Ticker: UEFA to probe Real Madrid cards, Fabregas out and more

  1. John says:

    Those Real Madrid cards were certainly suspect, but how in God’s name do you prove that? Smart strategy by Mourinho, even if it is against FIFA regs.

  2. mhm says:

    I don’t get it. It’s not like they have to play in the final game. Mourinho could have simply let some of the bench guys start. Can someone explain this further>

  3. afeea says:

    They have to get into the game, otherwise the cards carry over to the knockout round. There one yellow will force them to miss a game.

  4. John says:

    If they pick up a yellow they would miss a game in the knockout stages where teams are tougher and more physical play is needed. This way they start the knockout stage on a clean slate.

  5. Must be a MLS Ref says:

    Lol, it’s 4-0 and they get red carded for wasting time lol

  6. dino1er says:

    anyone know if mo edu plays v man u today or is he still out injured.

  7. DAT says:

    What UEFA needs to “probe” are the rules that encourage players to earn their second yellow cards in situations like this.

  8. Scott says:

    Adebayor to Chicago!

  9. Jimbo Fisher says:

    Exactly. That and their own anuses.

  10. ... says:

    It was so blatant and so prolonged the ref had no choice. Look it up on youtube. It was beyond classless.

  11. spencer says:

    We use to pick up a meaningless yellow in high school so we could sit a pointless game.

  12. fischy says:

    It was funny.

    I don’t see this as a big deal, and I really don’t see why anyone has a big problem with this.

    It’s not like they started recklessly fouling guys to get thrown out. This was ime-wasting. At the end of a 4-0 game.

    Cards get handed out for time-wasting fairly often. 99% of the time, a player is doing it to kill off the clock and prevent the other team from having a chance to win. To me, that’s pretty heinous. Much worse. Really bad sportsmanship. And, hard to police because it’s rarely done by a player already sitting on a yellow.

    For some reason it becomes worse when the players are NOT cheating their opponents out of a fair chance to win??? WHen it’s being done for tactical reasons that have nothing to do with the game, which is already decided? Somehow, it deserves extra punishment because they simply are choosing to get suspended for the next game, rather than risk getting suspended for a game later in the tournament? That makes no sense to me.

    It’s a rule that begs to be exploited by a smart coach. In the World Cup, they cards wouldn’t even carry over — it prevents this kind of gamesmanship. If UEFA wants to take some action, then maybe they should decide to wipe the slate clean for everyone.

  13. fischy says:

    Exactly. If they are so troubled by this, just change the rules so all players start with a clean slate in the knockout rounds. FIFA does that for the semifinal round of the World Cup.

  14. fischy says:

    Nonsense. He’s obviously headed to DC. Or, maybe a team in Ecuador.

  15. Paul C says:

    The special one strikes again.

    Smart move, don’t mind it really. I can see what purists would, but…meh.

  16. ... says:

    In my opinion, it’s not what they did to get thrown out, but why they did it. Obviously it would be much worse if they were recklessly fouling people to pick up their second yellows. But just because there was a way to be even more unsporting doesn’t mean that what they did wasn’t unsporting.

    It was disrespectful to Ajax, regardless of the fact that they would not have been able to change the outcome of the game. It was disrespectful to the referee, who, by following the laws of the game, was forced to reward the Madrid players for their gamesmanship by giving them what they wanted.

    Exploiting the rules is hardly “fair play” even if the rule is “begging to be exploited.” The fact is that they violated UEFA’s regulations and could face punishment for it.

    And not that it’s really relevant, but I believe the cards did carry over in the WC. They weren’t cleared until after the quarters.

  17. david says:

    real madrid was being cheeky in my book

  18. spencer says:

    If UEFA extends any sort of ban on them, then they must go and give every player who takes a dive in the box a yellow after the game as well. Whats more unsporting, to dive and cheat or to just waste time. I’ll let you be the judge.

  19. northzax says:

    Mike Bradley did this in the Olympics, remember? against the Dutch in the second game of the Round Robin, sitting on two yellows, he took a time wasting red, with the US up 2-1 in the 89th. a win and the US went through, without needing the match against Nigeria. but if he took a yellow in that match, he’d miss the knockout stage. of course, the Wall jumped, and it turned out he was needed in the next match. it doesn’t always work. (4-0 is a whole other thing, though)

  20. DB says:

    Just fix the rules if you don’t like it. They knew how it worked and smartly took advantage. Certainly not worse than taking dives and faking injuries that has become so commonplace and it much more of an issue in my mind.

  21. ... says:

    Actually, no, I don’t remember that. I wasn’t following the US then (I’m a youngin’). I know it’s been done before, by multiple different players and teams, but I still feel that conning the system is poor sportsmanship. It is, of course, simply my opinion and others are free to feel differently.

  22. Waterlewd says:

    Not the issue, and classic red herring. “Just waste time” makes the argument simplistic and ignores the main issue. Two Real Madrid players purposely got themselves sent off to circumvent disciplinary rules. They used the match and match official as a farce to benefit themselves in future matches. Not well played to them. If they get away with it, I hope karma gets them.

  23. Smacking says:

    Deserved but I question the Suarez outcome. Didn’t the fa or FIFA declare they couldn’t retroactively apply suspensions unless the ref initially took action? Seems de jong’s homeland feels otherwise.

  24. spencer says:

    They did something that would benefit them in the future. If you’ve never done something to benefit yourself in a sport then your fooling yourself. Also if you are going to go back and extend a ban, then they should have the ability to go back and look at yellow and red cards and remove them. In that same game a guy from Ajax got a yellow because a player from Madrid dove.

  25. spencer says:

    The main thing is they took advantage of the rules that are in place. You can’t fault them for using it to their advantage. Yes it may be annoying but either way they were going to get a yellow. Do you prefer to see someone get injured just so they can get a yellow, or would you prefer to have them just pick up the ball.

  26. Seriously? says:

    hmmm… “WELSH REFEREES COULD BREAK STREAK”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Scottish refs planning on striking, not streaking?

  27. CJ says:

    “Wednesday morning, UEFA announced that they are investigating both dismissals, under the idea that both Alonso and Ramos intentionally earned the cards.”

    WTF, do they expect Alonso & Ramos to admit to cheating?

  28. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Hey, anybody know if Suarez bit the opponent’s ear (like Mike Tyson did to Evander)? Or where? Hopefully, Suarez didn’t for the sausage!

  29. ... says:

    His shoulder/neck area. Looked like Suarez suddenly decided he was a vampire.

  30. Waterlewd says:

    You can fault them. It’s called fair play. Maybe you’ve seen those flags that FIFA likes so much and brings out before all matches…taking advantage of rules is not fair play. I don’t see how FIFA or uefa can let this go unpunished without creating a precedent. A very poor precedent at that.

  31. spencer says:

    My main point is that we witness things in every game we watch that we wouldn’t call fair play. If uefa or fifa starts punishing one act they’d have to punish all. If they selectively punished than that wouldn’t be fair.

  32. Joamiq says:

    What UEFA and FIFA need to do is wipe the disciplinary slates clean more often. Yellows happen. They’re not a big deal. I don’t think it makes any sense for yellows to carry over from the group stage to the knockout stage.