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Ronaldo Given Three Match Ban But Can Play In Copa

Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for three games following his sending off for Real Madrid at Athletic Bilbao last weekend, but is free to play in Wednesday evening’s Copa del Rey semifinal first leg ‘derbi’ at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo was sent off at the weekend for raising a hand during a confrontation Carlos Gurpegi and Ander Iturraspe in Sunday’s 1-1 draw still undecided that morning.

Spain’s competition committee met to make their decision and opted for a three-match La Liga suspension, one for raising a hand and two for a gesture made as he left the field, which the authorities said was “inconsiderate.”

A four-game ban that includes the Copa match could have been imposed, but the eventual decision means that, subject to an appeal, he will miss games against Villarreal at home, Getafe away and Elche at home.

Madrid are reportedly set to appeal, with that hearing likely to take place Friday morning. They had hoped for a lesser ban, and their legal experts had reportedly prepared a defence including apparent errors in referee Miguel Angel Ayza Gamez’s report and an argument that Ronaldo’s gesture towards an assistant referee had been just a show of frustration.

However, AS reported that the referee had been allowed to make corrections to his report after Madrid had presented their case.