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Mar 22, 2013

Red card: Nani gets 1-match ban

NYON, Switzerland -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was fined $13,000 by UEFA on Friday for failing to fulfill his post-match media duties after a Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Ferguson was incensed at the decision to send off Portugal winger Nani for dangerous play in the second half of the match at Old Trafford on March 5. United was 1-0 up at the time of the red card and ended up losing 2-1 in the second leg of the last-16 match, eliminating the team from the competition.

Champions League regulations compel clubs to "make their manager/head coach available" for a UEFA-run news conference within 20 minutes of the final whistle.

United sent assistant manager Mike Phelan to conduct interviews with television and the written press, and he told the media that Ferguson was too "distraught" to speak.

Nani was given an automatic one-match ban on Friday for the offense, which came as he tried to control the ball and inadvertently planted his right boot onto the chest of Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa.

Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's decision to show Nani a straight red card infuriated Ferguson, who remonstrated with the fourth official on the touchline after the 56th-minute incident.

Within 15 minutes, Madrid scored through Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo to lead for the first time in the two-legged series.

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