Juventus midfielder Emre Can has hit out at the sending off of team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo during his side’s Champions League game against Valencia last night.
Ronaldo, who was making his Champions League debut for the Italian champions, was sent off in the first half following an off-the-ball incident where he appeared to grab the hair of Valencia’s Jeison Murillo.
Referee Felix Byrch consulted with his fifth official before showing the five-time Balon d’Or winner a red card, much to the astonishment of many of his teammates, including ex-Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.
After watching a replay of the incident, Can told DAZN: “That’s supposed to be a red?”
The Germany international midfielder added: “I just heard he said it was because of hair pulling. We’re not women, we’re playing football.
“If you’re going to give a red for that, you can give a red for anything. It was 100 per cent not a red card.”
On Thursday, Can took to Twitter to clarify his comments which had been branded as sexist by many in the footballing world.
I would like to take a moment to clear the air regarding comments I made after last nights game.
Please read the full statement below⤵️
— Emre Can (@emrecan_) September 20, 2018
Unless the decision is successfully overturned on appeal, Ronaldo will now serve an automatic one-match ban in European competition.
UEFA may decide to hand Ronaldo a larger ban which would see him miss his Old Trafford reunion against Manchester United.