UEFA is to investigate Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and four of his players – Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Jerzy Dudek . The probe relates to an allegation of improper conduct regarding cards received by members of the Real Madrid team in their 4-0 UEFA Champions League win over Ajax on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010.
Sergio Ramos and Xavi Alonso were both sent off after picking up second yellow cards late in the Ajax match – both for timewasting. The fact that this means both players will serve suspensions in Real’s final “dead rubber” group game, rather than during the knock-out phase has led some to alledge that the bookings were premeditated: an allegation that UEFA is now investigating.
The difficulty UEFA face is that, in order to find any wrongdoing occured, they have to prove intent, and that an order was given to those players to collect additional bookings.
Whether or not the results of any investigation can bear fruit, the seemingly counter-intuitive fact that players are better served with a red card than a yellow card at any stage of a competition surely highlights an area where UEFA need to focus attention.
To the casual observer, as the rules currently stand, Mourinho and his Real Madrid men appear to be guilty only of extreme professionalism.