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Man Utd not optimistic over Fletcher appeal

Darren Fletcher was sent off for bringing down Cesc Fabregas during's United's 3-1 victory at Arsenal in second leg of Champions League semis.

Written by Agencies | Manchester | Published: May 8, 2009 4:46:39 pm

UEFA will rule on Monday concerning Manchester United’s appeal against a red card that has ruled Darren Fletcher out of the Champions League final against Barcelona,although manager Alex Ferguson says he thinks the decision will stand.

Fletcher was sent off for bringing down Cesc Fabregas in the area during’s United’s 3-1 victory at Arsenal in Tuesday’s semifinal second leg. Arsenal scored on the resulting penalty.

United lodged an appeal on compassionate grounds,but Ferguson said Friday he did not have high hopes that it would succeed.

“We have written a compassionate letter to UEFA. We understand the system and I honestly believe that the referee made the right decision at the time. I thought it was a penalty,” Ferguson said.

“You see the replays and it’s obvious that Darren has managed to get his leg round and flick the ball away from Fabregas,which was incredible.”

Ferguson,who is chasing his third Champions League title after triumphs in 1999 and last season,applauded Fletcher for not disputing the red card on the field.

“He’s not an over-emotional boy and he accepts it. It’s disappointing for him obviously,but he takes great credit for the way he’s handled it all,” the United manager said.

“I’m not optimistic at all. We have to do it for Darren,really. I don’t think it will be overturned.”

UEFA confirmed it had received Man United’s appeal and its

disciplinary committee would consider it on Monday.

European football’s governing body also said it had received no appeal from Barcelona over the red card Eric Abidal received in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea,which has ruled the French defender out of the May 27 final in Rome.

Abidal was sent off when Nicolas Anelka went down after a challenge by the Frenchman just outside the area,though TV replays suggested he made no contact with the Chelsea striker.

The red card was one of several contentious decisions by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo,who angered Chelsea players after he turned down a series of penalty appeals.

Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack were among Chelsea stars who confronted the referee and UEFA said it had received Ovrebo’s report and would consider whether to take disciplinary action against the players and the club.

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