Garry Birtles: Red cards and unjust sackings – what is our game coming to?
IF Nani deserved a red card for that challenge against Real Madrid, then Thierry Henry is probably delighted that he no longer plays Champions League football.
The Frenchman was hardly known for his poor disciplinary record but, given that he controlled the ball high in the air with an outstretched leg two or three times every game, he would have been sent off every time he played.
And what about over-head kicks? If that challenge from the Manchester United player was deemed to have been a danger to the opposition, then surely every time a player goes for an over-head kick he should immediately be given his marching orders?
Nani's intention was not to hurt an opposition player, it was to control the ball. If you watch the replay carefully, you can see that he essentially does that, before any contact is made.
At no point does he even look to see where Alvaro Arbeloa is, as the two challenge for a high ball.
It was barely a yellow card offence, never mind one worthy of a dismissal.
The worst part of it was that it ultimately provided the decisive plot twist in what was otherwise shaping up to be a classic game; a monumental clash between two outstanding sides.
Referee Cuneyt Cakir's over-reaction destroyed what was shaping up to be a genuinely intriguing spectacle.
Who knows if United or Real would have triumphed had it remained 11 versus 11? The Spanish side might still have won. But, whoever had progressed to the quarter-final stage, football would have been the winner.
THERE truly is no decency left in football. This has to go down in history as being the season where common sense finally deserted the game.
Roberto Di Matteo gets the sack after winning the Champions League with Chelsea, Nigel Adkins is forced out at Southampton after taking them to back-to-back promotions and into the top flight and Sean O'Driscoll is turfed out by Forest with the club a point off the play-off places.
And, while it may have sneaked under the radar around these parts, now York City have parted company with Gary Mills.
He took the club to Wembley in the FA Trophy and he guided them back into the Football League.
That should have been enough to earn him the opportunity to prove he has what it takes to keep them in League Two this season; to keep him in a job for at least this season.
Instead, like Chelsea and Southampton in particular, the club hierarchy have quickly forgotten what their manager has done for them, what he has helped them to achieve.
It is a sad indictment of the modern game that now even success is no guarantee of job security or loyalty.