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eal Madrid have been thrown out of the Spanish Cup after fielding an ineligible player in their tie against third-tier side Cadiz, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday.
In the first leg of their fourth-round tie on Wednesday Russian international Denis Cheryshev not only started the match but also opened the scoring in Madrid’s 3-1 win.
But he shouldn’t have been on the field as he was due to serve a one-match ban in the cup after picking up three yellow cards while on loan at Villarreal last season.
The federation’s competition committee judge ruled that “Cheryshev was ineligible to play … so Madrid have forfeited the game and the tie is resolved in favour of Cadiz.”
Real Madrid, Europe’s richest club, were also slapped with a fine of 6 001 euros ($6 520). The club has 10 days to appeal.
In a statement, Real said the ban could not have taken effect as Cheryshev did not know he was suspended.
“The competition judge acknowledges that Cheryshev was not personally notified about his ban,” the club said.
“Real Madrid C.F…can verify the acknowledgement that the Spanish Football Federation did not personally notify Cheryshev about his ban, which is the only way the ban can take effect.
“We at Real Madrid C.F. stand by our argument and will take the appropriate action to ensure that the final outcome is favourable for the club.”
The statement came after Real president Florentino Perez insisted at a press conference on Thursday that the his club “is not at fault” and should not be disqualified from the competition.
He said Real did not receive a list from the federation drawn in July of all the players who were under the threat of a suspension for the season.
“Nobody told the club or the player, not the federation nor Villarreal, so it was impossible for us to act differently,” Perez said.
He also argued that according to the club’s interpretation of the competition’s by-laws, previous bookings are voided at the start of the round of 32.