Rules are rules and they apply to everyone, even Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is serving a three-game, La Liga (Spanish first division) ban for his actions in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao last weekend.
Ronaldo, 29, had an altercation with Bilbao’s Carlos Gurpegi in the 75th minute, during which he lightly slapped or scratched (or some mix of the two) the Athletic Bilbao captain’s face.
Referee Miguel Angel Ayza Gamez stepped into the fray and showed Ronaldo the red card. That’s when their problems began to mount.
As he was walking to the dressing room, an incredulous Ronaldo directed a gesture — slapping his own cheek — at the fourth official. That gesture is considered disrespectful in Spain, as it “shows contempt for someone else’s behavior,” according to Bloomberg News.
The RFEF, Spain’s soccer federation handed Ronaldo a three-game ban Wednesday. Here’s how it breaks down.
Cristiano has been handed a 1 match ban for violent conduct and 2 for disrespecting the match officials.—
AS English (@English_AS) February 05, 2014
Ronaldo sat out Real Madrid’s 4-2 victory over Villarreal on Saturday. The soccer superstar also will miss his team’s visit to Getafe on Feb. 16 and home game against Elche on Feb. 22. However, Ronaldo is eligible to play against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, as it is a Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) game, and the league ban does not apply to that competition.
Meanwhile, like Ronaldo, Ayza Gamez will spend some time watching and thinking about what he has done. Ayza Gamez also will not cross paths with Ronaldo again this season, according to Football Espana.
“But Cadena Cope have revealed that the official is set for four weeks ‘in the freezer’ after his performance,” the report says.
“The radio station also confirm that Gamez will not be in charge of any other Real Madrid games this season.”
The red card was the eighth of Ronaldo’s career. To make matters worse, the Spanish federation confirmed Ronaldo’s ban on Feb. 5 — his 29th birthday.
See Ronaldo’s red-card incident below.
GIFs via Reddit
Photo via Twitter/@SportsCenter