Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo is set to be banned for at least four games after he pushed referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea during Real Madrid's Spanish Super Cup tie with FC Barcelona.
Madrid won 3-1 on Sunday but the tie was marred by heated exchanges and to cap it all Ronaldo was sent off moments after he had given Real a 2-1 lead with a strike from outside the box.
Ronaldo was already on a booking after taking off his shirt while celebrating the goal. Then the referee adjudged him to be diving inside the penalty box. Ronaldo was furious and shoved the referee while marching off the pitch.
The official match report sent to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) from the Camp Nou included Ronaldo's push in the "other incidents" section.
"Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro -- having been shown the red card, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of his disagreement," the Basque official wrote as quoted by ESPN FC.
The RFEF's disciplinary code appears clear that the punishment for such behaviour, even if only "slightly violent," is an extra suspension of four to 12 games.
"Pulling, pushing or shaking, or a general attitude towards the match officials which, even if only slightly violent, without confirming an aggressive attitude on their part, will be punished with a suspension of four to 12 games," says the code's article 96.
Real skipper Sergio Ramos told Telecinco after the final whistle that he felt Ronaldo had not dived.
"I was far away," Ramos said. "But I believe Cristiano lost his balance and did not fake anything. We can appeal as it leaves us without a very important player, with 10 minutes left. (The referee) should have thought about it a bit more."
Ramos also challenged the referee's decision to award a penalty when Suarez fell to the ground dramatically, having been challenged inside the box by Real keeper Keylor Navas. Lionel Messi scored from the spot sending Navas in the wrong direction and helping Barca equalise.
"There is a lot of tension in these type of games," he said. "For me, it was not a penalty. I don't believe the referee blew the whistle if he did not see anything, he must have seen it clearly. But for me there was nothing."
According to Real left-back Marcelo, the red card had been "bizarre".
"Cristiano being sent off was bizarre, but sometimes that can happen," the Brazil international said. "Referees can make mistakes, along with the things they get right," he told the club's official website.