'It is hard to keep your faith in the game' - Sir Alex Ferguson laments refereeing mistakes

The Red Devils boss was left reeling after Cuneyt Cakir sent Nani off during the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, though the official has reportedly defended the decision

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed it is "hard to keep your faith" in football after seeing Nani red-carded during his side’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

United were leading against the Spanish champions until referee Cuneyt Cakir gave midfielder Nani a straight red for perceived dangerous play just before the hour mark, handing the visitors the initiative to go on to score twice and seal victory.

And Sir Alex admits the decision - along with Paul Scholes’ disallowed goal against Porto in 2004 and Rafael’s red card against Bayern Munich in 2010 - has made him question his faith in the game.

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"It's hard to keep your faith when you see what's happened in the last few years," Sir Alex told reporters.

"It's the third time we've been knocked out by a referee's decision and it's not easy to take.

"I was concerned before the game. I said that to my staff. I had a big worry about it. But it's gone now. We have to get on with it."

However, Cakir has since spoken to a Spanish newspaper to defend his actions on Tuesday night, although the Turkish FA have denied that any such interview had taken place.

"I feel well and I don't doubt my decisions," Cakir is quoted as saying by AS. "The red card to Nani was correct. People will see that is the case in time.

"It hasn't made me feel sad. I don't think about it. I've received more criticism on other occasions, but I've always got up and recovered. I can do it again."