To add insult to the atrocious refereeing by Cuneyt Cakir during Manchester United's recent Champions League tie with Real Madrid, it appears that UEFA is readying some sort of punishment for manager Sir Alex Ferguson because he didn't appear in the post-match press conference. Instead, assistant coach Mike Phelan took the questions and he stated that the gaffer was too "distraught" to attend. Here's what a UEFA spokesperson said about the range of punishment possibilities for Ferguson:
"It can be a warning, a fine or not being allowed on the bench. We will have to wait and see."
Well if anything, Ferguson sending Phelan out to the pack of media was damage limitation. It was very possible the 71-year-old would have said something in the press conference that he would have regretted and that likely would have resulted in a greater punishment than he's going to get for simply not attending. Or maybe the manager was simply sending a defiant message to UEFA by not showing up. I'm not going to try too hard getting inside the mind of Ferguson.
The Scot has managed over 200 Champions League matches without a ban so perhaps UEFA will consider that when they punish Ferguson. I don't anticipate a touchline ban, but I suppose you can never be certain.