Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir stands in the midst of fire after his decision to show Nani a direct red card in Man. Utd's UCL match.
beIN SPORT News Services
After Manchester United's winger Nani was controversially sent off with a direct red card during this week's Champions League clash against Real Madrid , referee Cuneyt Cakir has been in the midst of a media frenzy.
The first claims were that the referee had agreed to an interview with Spanish newspaper AS where he said that he has no regrets over sending off Nani during a key moment in the game. The Turkish official has been under fire following his decision to show a red card to the Portugal international in the second leg of the crucial European encounter, for what seemed like an honest attempt to bring down the ball.
United, leading 1-0 when Nani was sent off, went on to lose the second leg 2-1, bowing out of the round of 16 3-2 on aggregate. And despite the controversy surrounding his influence on the outcome, Cakir had supposedly said that he stood by his interpretation of the situation.
"I feel well and I don't doubt about my decisions. The red card to Nani was right. People will eventually realize it," he was claimed to have told Spanish newspaper AS.
Cakir has been in the spotlight in other high-profile matches - he was the man to send off John Terry in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final at Barcelona last season and Manchester City's Mario Balotelli against Dynamo Kiev in 2011.
The interview supposedly continued with Cakir saying that "In my last games, no decision against English teams was unfair. Which one was incorrect? The red card to Terry? Or Balotelli? I think I have not mistaken in showing them the red card and sending them off."
But now, the Turkish Football Federation has denied referee Cuneyt Cakir gave an interview defending his decision to send off Nani on Tuesday, saying that Cakir has not spoken to any outlets on the subject.
"Referee Cuneyt Cakir didn't give any interview to any journalist or to any media organization and he also doesn't have any social media account on websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc, because of our rules," the TFF said in a statement.