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Turkish FA deny Cakir interview
The Turkish FA has insisted that the referee who controversially sent off Manchester United winger Nani this week has not given any interviews defending his decision.
Cuneyt Cakir, who was in charge of Tuesday's Champions League match against Real Madrid, was on Friday quoted in the Spanish press claiming he had made the right decision.
But a statement on the Turkish FA's website on Friday afternoon said: "After refereeing the UEFA Champions League match Manchester United v Real Madrid, in some social media sites, local and foreign press it is mentioned that there are interviews with and comments made by Cuneyt Cakir and that he is receiving death threats."
The statement continued: "Our referee Cuneyt Cakir has not given any interviews to journalists because of the (UEFA) rules, and also does not have any accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc."
The Turkish FA's announcement comes after Spanish newspaper AS ran a story that claimed Cakir had defended his actions on Tuesday night. Cakir was reported to have said: "I feel well and I don't doubt my decisions. The red card to Nani was correct. People will see that is the case in time."
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was so furious at Cakir's decision to dismiss Nani for a high tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa that he opted not to attend the mandatory post-match press conference following his side's exit to Madrid, a move that could incur a fine from UEFA.
The incident confirmed pre-match fears Ferguson harboured over Cakir's appointment, with the Turkish official having a history of sending off players from English teams.
He dismissed John Terry in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona last season, Mario Balotelli in a Europa League game against Dynamo Kiev and, earlier this term, Steven Gerrard during England's World Cup draw with Ukraine and Gary Cahill in the Club World Cup defeat to Corinthians.
Ferguson can also look back to a disallowed Paul Scholes goal against Porto in 2004 and Rafael's red card against Bayern Munich in 2010 for other examples of when refereeing decisions have gone against his side.
"It's hard to keep your faith when you see what's happened in the last few years," said Ferguson. "It's the third time we've been knocked out by a referee's decision and it's not easy to take. I was concerned before the game. I said that to my staff. I had a big worry about it. But it's gone now. We have to get on with it."