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Cristiano Ronaldo ban upheld after Real Madrid appeal fails

Fernando Palomo and Herculez Gomez have no problems with Ronaldo's 5-game ban and assess how Real will fare without him.
The ESPN FC crew flip the script and examine the possible benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's five-game ban for Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo is out of Wednesday's Spanish Super Cup second leg against Barcelona after the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) appeals committee confirmed that it turned down Real Madrid's attempt to overturn his five-game ban.

Ronaldo was shown a second yellow card late in Madrid's 3-1 first-leg win at the Camp Nou on Sunday after referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea ruled that he had dived to try to win a penalty.

The Portugal captain reacted by pushing the Basque official -- earning himself an extra four-game suspension on top of the mandatory one-match ban for the sending off in a ruling from the RFEF's presiding judge on Monday.

Madrid submitted a detailed defence of their player's behaviour to La Liga's appeals committee, which met at lunchtime on Wednesday, but multiple reports say that their appeal has been rejected and Ronaldo will not be able to face Barca in Wednesday's second leg.

The club could still take the case to the Spanish government's Tribunal Administrativo del Deporte in the hope of getting the remaining four games of the suspension reduced.

Ronaldo reacted on his Instagram by saying: "Impossible not to react to this situation, 5 games!! I think it is over the top and ridiculous, this is persecution! I am grateful to my teammates and fans for their support!!!"

Ronaldo was found guilty of violating Article 96 of the Disciplinary Code, which relates to using "mild force" against the officials, including grabbing, pushing or shaking.

He has also been fined €3,805 (£3,459), with Real fined €1,750 (£1,590).

This was the sixth red card of Ronaldo's eight years at Madrid, and in previous cases the club have often pushed the appeals process as far as possible.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had said during Tuesday's prematch news conference that he was "upset" with a suspension he considered over the top and was still hopeful Ronaldo could play in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked if he felt there was a "campaign" within Spanish football against Ronaldo, Zidane declined to rule out the possibility.

Although the RFEF's disciplinary code is clear in saying that any slight push on a match official automatically brings a ban of between four and 12 matches, Zidane said on Tuesday that "five games for what happened is a lot."

Fans and pundits have also expressed their frustration, claiming that Ronaldo's second yellow card was unmerited as there was contact with Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti when he fell to the ground.

Madrid fan groups have planned a "panolada" white-handkerchief protest for Wednesday's second leg in objection at what they see as unfair refereeing suffered by their club in recent years.

With no new injury worries for the Barca game, and ahead of Sunday's La Liga opener at Deportivo La Coruna, Zidane is likely to rotate his side, with Luka Modric one of the players due to come in following his return from suspension.

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

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