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Cristiano Ronaldo Handed Five Match Suspension

Cristiano Ronaldo has been handed a five-match ban for pushing referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea, following his sending off in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Spanish Super Cup first leg win over Barcelona.

Ronaldo has received a one-game suspension from the Spanish Football Federeation for his red card and a further four games for pushing a match official.

The Ballon d’Or winner shoved referee De Burgos Bengoetxea in frustration after he was sent off for a second bookable offence, earned for simulation when he went down in the Barcelona penalty area under a challenge from Samuel Umtiti.

The incident will now see Ronaldo spend five games on the sidelines, with the superstar set to miss the second leg of the Super Cup as well as the first four matches of Madrid’s La Liga title defence.

Ronaldo is not set to be available for selection in domestic competitions until September 20 when Madrid face Real Betis at the Bernabeu.

Despite the severity of the ban Ronaldo has got off relatively lightly, with four games the minimum punishment handed to players who make contact with a referee.

Article 96 of the Spanish Football Federation rulebook applies to players who ‘grab, push or shake’ a referee in a ‘slightly violent manner’ and recommends a four to 12 game suspension for such offences.

De Burgos Bengoetxea had noted the push in his official match report, writing:

‘Once the red card was shown, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of disagreement’.

Las Palmas striker Marko Livaja was also handed a five-game ban by La Liga for a similar incident back in April, one match for the red card and an additional four for pushing the referee.

Livaja’s punishment was typical of the precedent set by La Liga, in which non-serious, violent conduct towards a referee typically results in a four-game ban.

There remains a possibility that Ronaldo could have his second yellow card rescinded on appeal, in which case any the four-game suspension for shoving the referee would still stand but the one-game ban for his sending off would not.

If Ronaldo were to successfully appeal the one-match ban for his red card and have his total suspension reduced to four games, his ban would only apply to Spanish Super Cup matches rather than all domestic fixtures including La Liga.

Los Blancos skipper Sergio Ramos suggested the club would appeal Ronaldo’s second booking and said his team-mate was not attempting to con the referee when he went to ground under Umtiti’s challenge.

‘I was far away, but I think it was a piece of play in which [Ronaldo] lost his balance, rather than feigning anything,’ Ramos said. ‘It could be appealed.

‘Sending off a key player with 10 minutes remaining of a Clasico in which we’ve given our all is something which needs to be evaluated and thought about.’

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane also hinted Madrid will appeal, saying he hoped to have Ronaldo available for Wednesday’s second leg at the Bernabeu.

‘We played a great game, but what annoyed me was Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismissal,’ Zidane told reporters.

‘Maybe there’s no penalty, but to show a card [for simulation] was a little harsh.

‘However, we cannot change that, even if we’ll try to have him available for Wednesday.’

Ronaldo’s first yellow card was considerably less contentious, as he was booked for taking off his shirt and displaying it to the Nou Camp crowd after scoring Madrid’s second with a powerful strike past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

It was an imitation of Lionel Messi’s infamous goal celebration in the previous Clasico back in April, in which the Argentine displayed his name and number to the Bernabeu after netting a late winner in a 3-2 win for Barcelona.

Madrid took the lead through Gerard Pique’s own goal before Messi equalised from the penalty spot following a blatant dive from Luis Suarez.

However goals from substitutes Ronaldo and Marco Asensio sealed a 3-1 victory and put Zidane’s side firmly in control ahead of the second leg on Wednesday evening.

The Spanish Football Federation have also fined Ronaldo £3460 and Real Madrid £1590 for both offences during the Spanish Super Cup first leg – the club have 10 days to appeal the decision.

August 16 – vs Barcelona (home) -Spanish Super Cup second leg
August 20 – vs Deportivo (away)
August 27 – vs Valencia (home)
September 9 – vs Levante (home)
September 17 – vs Real Sociedad (away)