Fletcher gets final hope
Uefa's David Taylor has suggested that there could be some hope for Darren Fletcher to feature in the Champions League final.
Last Updated: 07/05/09 9:44am
Uefa general secretary David Taylor has suggested that there could be some hope for Darren Fletcher to feature in the UEFA Champions League final.
The Scottish midfielder was dismissed in the latter stages of Manchester United's second-leg triumph over Arsenal on Tuesday.
He challenged Cesc Fabrgeas in the box and was adjudged to have fouled the Spaniard, although television replays confirm that he won the ball fairly.
Uefa rules differ to the Premier League, and Europe's governing body do not allow appeals over red cards other than in a case of mistaken identity.
But Taylor intimated that after conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson, there maybe an avenue United can go down to get Fletcher's ban overturned.
"I have spoken with Alex Ferguson personally on this - as fate would have it we shared a car after the match. We were rather thrown together but had an interesting discussion," Taylor told The Sun.
"He was very fair about the referee and what had happened but equally he was very disappointed for Darren, as are we all.
"I tried to give Alex as much advice as I could with regards the procedure in these circumstances.
"There is no formal process. But if the club want to write to us with information - such as video evidence - explaining why they think this is a harsh punishment then they can do that.
"The likelihood is that we'd then refer the matter to our disciplinary body.
"They would then look to see if there were any special circumstances to justify any departure from established procedures.
"I must stress there is normally no way these matters can be overturned."
Fletcher's hopes could hang on referee Roberto Rosetti admitting to his apparent error in his match report, but Taylor concedes such an admission may not be enough to reverse the red card.
"The ref may take the view a mistake has been made and include that in his report but that wouldn't be in any way decisive," he continued.
"It's an entirely discretionary thing, whether or not the committee feels there is reason to intervene.
"That's the position. Strictly speaking there's no appeal process but representation can be made and looked at."
Should Fletcher get his ban overturned then that is likely to prompt a similar appeal from Barcelona who had Eric Abidal sent off in their semi-final second leg against Chelsea, with television replays again suggesting the decision was an incorrect one.
Scotland boss George Burley has thrown his support behind Fletcher's appeal.
"It's an injustice, really, that, through no fault of his own, he's going to miss the Champions League final," he said.
"Unfortunately there is no appeal but I think it's something people have got to look at because they do have the top referees but referees do make the odd mistake.
"I'm sure if the referee had been allowed to look at it again, I think it might have been overturned."