United rule out further appeal

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Manchester United have ruled out any further attempt to overturn Darren Fletcher's Champions League final ban.

UEFA had earlier rejected United's protest against the Scotland midfielder's red card in the semi-final against Arsenal and although the club have the right of a further appeal it was made clear they stood little chance of success.

A United spokesman said: "Darren is an honest player and we felt we should do what we could to try and help him become eligible for the Champions League final. However, we respect the referee's decision and we will therefore not be appealing against the ruling."

Barcelona's protests over defenders Eric Abidal and Dani Alves were also rejected by UEFA's control and disciplinary committee, and those players too will miss the final in Rome on May 27.

UEFA said both United and Barcelona had missed the deadline for filing A protest but that there were no grounds for overturning suspensions in any case.

The ban will come as a huge blow for Fletcher, a non-playing substitute at last season's final, who was sent off by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti for denying Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas a goal-scoring chance - television replays showed however he seemed to have won the ball.

Abidal's red card against Chelsea was also viewed as harsh though Alves' caution that will see him miss the final looked straightforward.

A UEFA statement said: "Even if they had been admitted they would have been rejected as unfounded as there were no grounds for contesting the referees' original decisions."

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Darren Fletcher

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