Marcelo: Real Madrid will not shirk challenges at CWC to avoid Clasico ban
Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo says fear of being suspended for the Clasico will not make him pull out of tackles at this week's Club World Cup.
The FIFA Disciplinary Code states that any player sent off during the tournament must serve their mandatory ban in their next game in any competition -- including at domestic level.
In practice this means that if, for instance, Sergio Ramos or Cristiano Ronaldo are sent off in the United Arab Emirates they could miss the Liga clash with leaders Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Dec. 23.
Speaking at the news conference ahead of Wednesday's semifinal against hosts Al-Jazira in Abu Dhabi, Marcelo said that it was important to be fully committed, but he questioned whether it was fair that a suspension could carry over into another competition.
"We will get stuck in just the same," Marcelo said. "To play this tournament is a prize for having won the Champions League. [But] I do not think it is fair that bans are served in La Liga, if it happens. But that does not mean we will be pulling out of challenges."
Los Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane admitted that the possibility of was a consideration, amid fears in the Madrid press of a key player missing the game against Barca. Marca has pointed out that in 2012 Chelsea's Gary Cahill served a suspension in a League Cup game against Leeds, having been sent off in a bad-tempered Club World Cup final defeat to Brazilian club Corinthians the previous week.
The use of VAR at FIFA's flagship club tournament has also caused debate, with the roll-out of the technology during last year's finals in Japan bringing confusion around a Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the semifinals, and subsequent criticism from Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
Asked for his views on VAR, Zidane said he was in favour of technology generally, but suggested he was not 100 percent happy with how the current system was working.
"Technology is brought in to improve things," he said. "That is the positive side. Then, in some details, maybe there are some things about it I don't like."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan