Legendary referee Pierluigi Collina feels that Hector Moreno should have been punished after his leg-breaking tackle on Manchester United’s Luke Shaw last month.
Moreno’s challenge on Shaw saw the full-back suffer a double fracture of his right leg and he is expected to be out of action for at least six months. It was a horrific injury sustained while Man United took on PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League and Collina feels not enough was done at the time.
The tackle went unpunished at the time as United were just given a corner but Shaw was treated on the pitch for a good 10 minutes before eventually being able to be stretchered off.
Many United fans wanted a red card at the time and were disappointed that the referee didn’t brandish one but Collina has admitted that he would have.
The 55-year-old said: “If you see the clip of PSV and Man Utd when Shaw was heavily injured, leg broken, the defender played ball and legs.
“On the field of play, nobody reacted because what was perceived even by players on the pitch the ball was played and this season the thought of many if the ball is played it’s not even a foul.”
Collina, who is now referees chief for UEFA, insisted that player safety was of utmost importance. The Italian drove home the message that getting the ball as part of a tackle “is not everything”.
He added: “We need to make people even the football community aware that if we want to protect the safety of the player, even challenges on the ball but very risky in terms of endangering the safety of the opponent can be punished, should be punished. (Getting the) football is not everything, safety counts more than the football itself.”
United fans would much rather have had Shaw fit and playing rather than a red card for Moreno but as it turned out they were left with neither. It was a cruel sequence of events for the team and Collina’s comments just add salt to the wounds.
Louis van Gaal‘s men went on to lose 2-1 to PSV in a key Champions League game but with the chief of referees for UEFA confirming that Moreno should have been sent off, United could feel hard done by with the outcome of the match.