Ronaldo labels five-match ban ‘ridiculous’

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    Cristiano Ronaldo has called his five-match ban for pushing a referee “exaggerated and ridiculous” and claims he is being persecuted after failing to have the sanction overturned on appeal.

    During Sunday night’s Spanish Super Cup 3-1 first-leg victory over Barcelona, in which he had scored, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo reacted badly after being shown a second yellow for diving by match official Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, shoving the Spaniard in the back.

    A Spanish football federation committee has dismissed an appeal, meaning Ronaldo will miss La Liga games against Deportivo La Coruna, Valenica, Levante and Real Sociedad as well as the return clash against Barcelona.

    Ronaldo reacted angrily on social media, writing in an Instagram post on his official page: “It’s impossible to stay quiet in this situation, five matches!

    “To me it seems exaggerated and ridiculous, this is what you call persecution!

    “Thanks to my team-mates and to the fans for the support.”

    Ronaldo was found guilty of ‘Violation of article 96 of the Disciplinary Code’, which relates to using “mild force” against the officials, including grabbing, pushing or shaking.

    Real boss Zinedine Zidane believed the ban was disproportionate.

    “I am and we are very upset,” he told the club’s official website on Tuesday.

    “I’m not going to get involved with the referees but, after what happened, to think that he’ll not play for five games makes you think that something isn’t right.

    “It’s too long for him.

    “I have been very clear in my response. What happened, happened, but when you look at the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has got five matches, you have to admit that it is a lot.”

    Former Manchester United forward Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Real this summer after revealing his frustration over an investigation into his tax returns in Spain. He denies the charges.

    © AAP 2017

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