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Sergio Ramos gets 5-match ban

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was handed a five-match ban Thursday for his sending off and subsequent reaction in Wednesday's Copa del Rey victory over Celta Vigo.

The Spain international was given his marching orders in the 72nd minute of the fixture after picking up a second yellow card before venting his feelings at the match officials as he left the pitch.

The Spanish Football Federation announced today that Ramos had been given a one-match ban for his dismissal and a further four-match suspension due to Article 94 of the RFEF's disciplinary code, which relates to "insulting, offending or showing an offensive attitude towards the referee... is punishable by a suspension of between four and 12 games."

Adding the automatic one-game ban for the red card, that would appear to mean Ramos faces at least five games out -- three in La Liga against Osasuna, Getafe and Valencia, and both Copa del Rey quarter-final legs against Valencia.

Ramos reacted angrily when he picked up his second booking for a dangerous challenge on Celta's Augusto Fernandez with 20 minutes of the game remaining. The referee's report filed by Ayza Gomez after the game reportedly said Ramos directed foul language at the officials, while accusing them of being biased against Madrid.

Madrid won the match 4-0 to progress through to the quarterfinals 5-2 on aggregate.

The Spanish authorities have taken a noticeably more serious approach to such offenses this season, with a recent precedent being the four-game suspension given to Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia for using the same word ('sinverguenza') towards referee Carlos del Cerro Grande in a Primera Division game against Osasuna. Ramos' offence was found to be similarly grave, with the fifth game of his ban being the automatic suspension for the initial red card.

Speaking directly after the game the Spain international told reporters that he felt the sending off had been unfair and could have cost Madrid the game.

"It was not a challenge for a second card," Ramos said. "I will not comment on the referee, because it is more of the same. I am leaving very annoyed, because the tie was in the balance and things like this happen. To see what happened you can watch the television."

Possibly realizing he was in trouble, Ramos later used his personal Twitter account to apologize for his actions.

"I regret the incident with the ref, these are moments of tension produced by my sending off," he tweeted. "We say things that afterwards we are sorry for."

Former Sevilla defender Ramos was already the most sent-off player in Madrid's history, and has now picked up 15 red cards in his seven and a half seasons at the Bernabeu.

Information from's Dermot Corrigan was used in this report.


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