5 Controversial Red Cards in recent times
Referees in football are charged with making sure that 22 men going at each other at a frantic pace and with full-blooded challenges are somehow staying within the rules. More often than not they are successful in delivering the promises and maintain the fine line between aggression and recklessness.
A highly unappreciated job in general as their good work is considered to be just the procedure and errors are scrutinized to no end. They are human after all and sometimes they end up with decisions which are not only wrong but can be disastrous for teams in context of the match/tournament.
We take a look at 5 incidents in recent times where a player was given a direct red or a second yellow for innocuous challenges or no offense at all.
#5 Luis Nani vs Real Madrid (2013)
Cuneyt Cakir quickly became a pantomime villain for United fans all around the world when he waved a red card towards Nani in the UCL quarterfinal against Real Madrid. Nani went in with Arbeloa in a high-ish challenge where both the players were looking for the ball and had little to no intent to harm their opponent.
The repercussion of the decision was throwing the tie off balance and making it all about the referee when it could have been a true champions league classic for years to come.
#4 Raheem Sterling vs Bournemouth (2017)
Raheem Sterling had a few magical moments for Man City last season. One of these was when he scored a 97th minute winner for his side at the end of a tough away game at Bournemouth. Completely ecstatic with his contribution he jumped into the City fans celebrating a great victory with them.
Mike Dean took the less forgiving way of looking at the situation and brandished a second yellow which meant Raheem had to go off for celebrating a brilliant last minute winner.