Roy Keane provokes Twitter backlash after backing referee's decision to send Nani off against Real Madrid
FORMER Manchester United captain Roy Keane faced a Twitter backlash last night from Manchester United fans when he backed referee Cuneyt Cakir’s decision to send off Nani in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
Manchester United supporters on the microblogging site claimed they had lost respect for the former United talisman and accused him of being bitter as Keane staunchly defended the referee's decision to send Nani off.
Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir dismissed Nani after his boot connected with Alvaro Arbeloa's chest as they went for a high ball.
United had been winning 1-0 but Real ended up 2-1 victors and progress to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate, and so incensed Sir Alex Ferguson and his players they all refused to do any post-match interviews.
Keane though insisted on ITV the red card was justified.
He said: "I think the referee has actually made the right call. Everyone's upset about it and it's slightly unlucky, but it's dangerous play. Whether he meant it or not is irrelevant.
"It's dangerous play - it's a red card.
"You have to be aware of other players on the pitch. Does he think he's going to have 20 yards to himself?
"Whether it's [a brave decision] or not, it's the right decision. Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter.
"Nani's a quick boy to go down anyway. He's not the bravest player on the planet."
Keane insisted the referee had carefully considered his decision.
He added: "It doesn't matter if he knows there's somebody there or not, it's irrelevant. I don't think the referee actually made the decision because he waited a couple of minutes while the player was getting treatment.
"I think it might have been the assistant that made the decision, and I actually think he's made the right call.
"We always say referees are very quick to make decisions - he waited a couple of minutes.
"Any time I was sent off in my career I always thought, 'did I give the referee chance to send me off?' And if the answer is yes, then it's out of your hands."
Keane’s comments certainly made him unpopular with many on Twitter, with Irish international Noel Hunt tweeting “Wow Roy Keane saying it’s a red card!! He should be still doing time for some of his tackles if this is the case!!!!”
Joey Barton also tweeted, suggesting that Gareth Southgate, who disagreed with Keane’s comments in the ITV studio last night, may have looked a little concerned that he didn’t rile Keane too much.
“I wonder why Gareth Southgate's petrified of Roy Keane on ITV's commentary? The mind boggles...”
Barton also added the picture of Keane being sent off for stamping on Southgate in 1995.