With their appeal having been dismissed, Real Madrid's hopes of lifting the Spanish cup a 20th time have been dashed - at least for now. They are now pursuing other legal options to get back into the tournament.
Spain's sports court on Monday dismissed Real Madrid's appeal against the club's expulsion from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.
The Adminstrative Court of Sport handed down the ruling after it "analyzed the parties arguments." The court ultimately determined Real Madrid had fielded an "improper lineup" and dismissed the appeal.
Real Madrid had to forfeit their first leg against third-tier Cadiz for fielding ineligible player Denis Cherishev. Cherishev was supposed to serve a one-match suspension for picked up too many yellow cards dating back to the 2014-15 Spanish cup competition, which he sustained while on loan at Villarreal.
The club did not realize the gaffe until half-time after Cherishev had already started the game. Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez attempted to fix the error by bringing on Matteo Kovacic in Cherishev's place. Real Madrid won the match 3-1, but the result turned into a 0-3 forfeit scoreline when they were expelled from the tournament and the mid-December second leg was cancelled.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is maintaining a stance of innocence, claiming neither the club nor Cherishev had been notified of the ban. The club issued a statement on Monday saying they would pursue other legal avenues to get the expulsion overturned.
dv/pfd (AP, Reuters)