Real Madrid's Wednesday night fears were confirmed on Friday as Rafa Benitez's nightmare start in charge of the Spanish giants continues. Cristiano Ronaldo will not be a Spanish Cup winner, as things stand.
Real Madrid has been thrown out of the Spanish Cup, the Copa del Rey, after they used an ineligible player in Wednesday's last 32, first leg match at third-tier Cadiz, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday. The statement from the federation read: "Denis Cheryshev was ineligible to play… so the tie is resolved in favor of Cadiz."
Denis Cheryshev was in Real Madrid's starting lineup for the match, but the Russia forward should have been serving a one-match suspension after collecting a third yellow card (which carries an automatic one-game ban) playing on loan at Villarreal in last season's cup competition. Cheryshev, who scored the opening goal in Real Madrid's 3-1 win, was taken off at halftime when the club apparently realized their error but Cadiz filed an official complaint.
Earlier on Friday, Spanish radio station Cadena Ser said a source had informed them the federation had told Cadiz of the decision to expel Real. Only a day earlier, Real president Florentino Perez said he believed the club had not broken the rules as neither Cheryshev nor the club had been notified about his ban. Perez added Real would appeal to Spain's court of sporting arbitration if his team was expelled from the cup.
This latest incident adds to Rafa Benitez's tumultuous start as Real Madrid head coach, which includes a recent defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico.
jh/ (Reuters, dpa)