Real Madrid are at risk of being thrown out of Copa del Rey after fielding a player facing suspension in the 3-1 win against Cadiz on Wednesday night.
In the spotlight is Russian winger Denis Cheryshev who started the game for Los Blancos in Rafa’s heavily-rotated eleven who went on to open the scoring inside the first three minutes of the game.
Cheryshev, who wore the colors of Villarreal last season should have been serving a one-match suspension in the competition after accumulating three yellow cards in five cup games last season.
The 24-year-old Russian was substituted within a minute in the second half, while while Cadiz officials confirming they will lodge an official complaint against Real Madrid for fielding an ineligible player.
“We had no idea Cheryshev was ineligible. As soon as we realized, we took him off in an act of good faith” the Madrid born coach quoted in the post-match press conference.
“I did not receive any notification from Villarreal to inform me that I had been banned from playing in the Copa del Rey.” Cheryshev was seen commenting on Real’s official website on the incident.
But if Cadiz make the official complaint about the incident, Real Madrid is likely to be expelled from the competition, a similar fate faced by Osasuna in September after fielding suspended player Unai Garcia.
Madrid’s director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno told Canal Plus: “Nobody informed us that Cheryshev was unable to play. I have spoken to the federation, but we will have to wait and see.”
To make it worse for Real Madrid, Cadena SER published a fax sent to all clubs with a list of suspended players ahead of the latest round of Copa del Rey fixtures. “Cheryshev’s one match suspension” was clearly mentioned in the list.
An expulsion from the Copa del Rey would be another humiliation for Rafa Benitez, who is desperate for silverware and is already facing mission impossible in La Liga after finding themselves six points beneath Barcelona. But, atlesat this time this is not his mistake rather than an administrative mistake.
This is not the first time a Rafa’s team is set to face an expulsion. His Valencia side was thrown out the Spanish cup in 2001 for fielding too many non-EU players for two minutes against minnows Novelda.
Real Madrid will be next in action on Saturday evening when host city-rivals Getafe at Santiago Bernebeu in the match-day 14 of the Spanish La Liga.