Friday 1 March 2019 06:11, UK
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has been given a two-game suspension by UEFA for "clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose" in their Champions League win at Ajax.
Captain Ramos was booked in the 89th minute of Madrid's 2-1 first leg last-16 victory in Amsterdam for a foul on Kasper Dolberg, which meant he would therefore miss the second leg at the Bernabeu.
But if the holders progress past Ajax, the 32-year-old will now miss the first leg of the quarter-finals following UEFA's decision to give him a two-match ban, which includes the automatic one-match suspension for repeated yellow cards.
Speaking immediately after the first leg, Ramos was quoted as saying he "would be lying" if he denied deliberately earning the booking.
Ramos, however, later used social media to stress it had not been intentional to collect a caution, and he was instead purposefully giving away a free-kick to prevent an Ajax equaliser.
Ramos had also given an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca to once more deny any wrongdoing.
"I'm very surprised about all this. I was referring to forcing the foul, a foul that was inevitable. Not to forcing the booking," the Spaniard said.
Asked if he knew the foul was likely to lead to a yellow card and a ban, he added: "Yes, but I had no choice.
"It was a very dangerous counter-attack in the 88th minute, with an open match and the tie as well.
"That's why I said that I would lie if I said I did not know that I was carrying a penalty, just as I knew that I had no other choice than to make a mistake. And that's what I meant when I said that in football you have to make complicated decisions."
Ramos added: "If I had wanted to force a penalty, I could have done it in the group stage, in the match against Roma because we were already classified as first of groups and the last game, against CSKA, was inconsequential. By the way, a match in which I did not play."