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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo likely to see further suspension following red card

Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to see addition match suspensions following his straight red card offense in the dying minutes of Real Madrid’s hard-fought 2-1 victory this past weekend.

The reigning Ballon d’Or winner was seen to have kicked Cordoba defender Edimar after a tussle in the box. Then, shortly after lashing out at the Brazilian left-back, Ronaldo took a backhand swipe at Spanish fullback Crespo.

The Portugal international was immediately shown a straight red card by match referee Alejandro Hernandez. Ronaldo didn’t argue the decision, shrugged his shoulders and received a pat on the head from manager Carlo Ancelotti before walking off the pitch.

In the minutes prior to the red card offense, Ronaldo was seen to have taken another swipe at Crespo – some have labeled it a punch – during another set-piece. But that incident went unnoticed.

Ronaldo will already miss Madrid’s next match against David Moyes and Real Sociedad this weekend. But the incident at Cordoba is under investigation and a disciplinary panel will meet on Wednesday to decide if the forward’s actions were excessive.

Should the panel find Ronaldo guilty of excessive aggression towards the Cordoba players, they could further ban the Real Madrid forward for two-four matches. Some reports in Spain are making the outrageous claim that the Portuguese player could receive as many as a twelve-match from the disciplinary committee.

Ronaldo has apologized for his actions against both players but, despite that, there is a chance his one-match ban could be extended – although the likelihood is that the forward’s suspension will not be too excessive.

Match referee Alejandro Hernandez did not deem the incident to be violent conduct in his post-match report. The official’s account of the event reads: “In the 83rd minute Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for the following reason: kicking an opponent when the ball was out of reach.”

But Hernandez admits that he did not see the Real Madrid player’s “punch” or backhand swipe at the Cordoba’s defender. That is where the disciplinary committee may come into play. Since that part of Ronaldo’s actions went unnoticed by the match referee, the panel will likely rule to add matches to the forward’s one-game suspension.

The committee may also take into account Ronaldo’s history. The Real Madrid forward has been sent off five times in his career and four have been for similar incidents as this latest one. The panel may feel that the reigning World Player of the Year has failed to learn his lesson from earlier suspensions and could choose to hand down a heavier sanction.

After the match against Real Sociedad, Madrid’s next two matches would be at home to Sevilla and away to Atletico Madrid.

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