UEFA’s disciplinary unit has begun an investigation into the red cards shown to Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, amid suggestions that the duo deliberately incurred cautions in Tuesday night’s 4-0 Champions League victory over Ajax.
With Real coasting to victory in Amsterdam and enjoying top spot in Group G, both Spain internationals were shown second yellow cards for blatant time wasting late on.
Ramos and Alonso will now be suspended for the meaningless final group game against Auxerre and their disciplinary records will be erased for the start of the knockout stages.
Suspicion was immediately raised and Marca published a series of photographs which suggested coach Jose Mourinho relayed a message to the players via substitute goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek and No. 1 Iker Casillas.
Dutch broadcaster NOS also showed footage of Mourinho talking with midfielder Alonso on the touchline prior to his second booking for delaying the taking of a free-kick. Ramos was dismissed after a similar incident at a free-kick.
UEFA has now said it is aware of the incidents and that officials have been instructed to look into the matter.
Article 5.1 of UEFA’s regulations – which deals with loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship – dictates that both players could have their suspensions extended if found guilty of an offence.
Mourinho said on Tuesday night: “I spoke with many players throughout the game, not only with Ramos and Alonso. The two red cards were the result of strange referee bookings in an easy game to monitor.
“I didn’t like them one bit, but if Ramos or Alonso can’t face Auxerre others will take their place. We will not give our game against the French away. We want to win all our matches.”
Sergio Ramos insisted that Scottish referee Craig Thomson dismissed him needlessly.
“When I spoke to Iker during the game, it had nothing to do with cards,” he said. “The result for us was comfortable, and because we were down to 10 men after Xabi Alonso’s expulsion, I tried to waste time in order to conclude the match.
“The referee, knowing what would happen when he booked me, could have kept his card.”