Mijatovic criticises Beckham red-card award

February 18, 2007

David Beckham`s dismissal for Real Madrid last night was another example of poor refereeing, according to the club`s sporting director Predrag Mijatovic.

Beckham was given his marching orders in injury-time at the end of Madrid's goalless draw with Real Betis last night, the 31-year-old being shown a straight red by referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez after scything down Jose Isidoro.

That challenge came immediately after Beckham felt he had been fouled on the edge of the Betis penalty area, and the former England captain was clearly frustrated at not being awarded a free-kick.

Mijatovic believes that incident was one in a string of refereeing decisions which have gone against his side at the Bernabeu in the current campaign.

'The sending-off of Beckham was a clear passage of play. We received a clear foul and it turned into a sending-off for our player,' Mijatovic said.

'A (Betis) player on a yellow elbows Robinho and the referee, who is half a metre away, does nothing.

'I don't know what has happened but I have the feeling the referees are against us.

'There were plays and cards that I did not understand, nor does anybody.

'We are not going to complain but it is necessary to highlight it.

'We have always remained quiet but the time has come to say something.'

Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes Beckham's challenge only warranted a booking.

'It was just behind the play and I feel a yellow card would have been sufficient,' the Dutchman said.

Van Nistelrooy and Beckham - who was playing his 150th official match for the club - had combined to create Madrid's best opportunity during the stalemate, where the home side missed the chance to put the pressure on leaders Barcelona.

Midway through the second half, Beckham sent in a brilliant low cross from the right which his former Manchester United team-mate latched on to but could only divert his shot onto the Betis crossbar.