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May 8, 2014

Madrid 'consider new Alonso appeal'

Real Madrid may now ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to release Xabi Alonso to play in the Champions League final after UEFA turned down an appeal to the yellow card shown to the midfielder during the semifinal second leg.

Alonso was booked for a foul on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger during the return leg of the tie after he went to ground in a challenge even with Madrid 4-0 up on aggregate in the tie. UEFA rules state that players are suspended for one match if, from the first game of the group stage, they pick up three cautions in three different matches.

Madrid appealed to UEFA hoping to get the card annulled, but an official statement released by European football's governing body confirmed that the decision had been upheld and the Basque midfielder is to miss May 24's decider against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon.

The statement read: "Following the protest lodged by Real Madrid CF against the caution of their player Xabi Alonso at the return leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal against FC Bayern Munchen played on April 29 in Germany, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has declared the protest inadmissible (Articles 9 and 50 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations).

"As a result of his third yellow card, the Spanish player is suspended and will therefore not be eligible for the UEFA Champions League final."

AS has reported that Bernabeu chiefs are willing to take a case to the CAS to try to force the issue but have not yet decided whether to go down that route.

Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti has lengthening injury concerns at present, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira, Raphael Varane, Pepe and Angel Di Maria all less than 100 percent fit.

Speaking after Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid had all but ended their chances of claiming the La Liga title, Ancelotti told reporters: "I don't think Cristiano Ronaldo's injury is that serious. He wasn't in pain and wasn't complaining of a muscle sprain. Pepe got a bad knock towards the end of the game so we'll have to see how he gets on. Di María should be fine, though."

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