Real Madrid was expelled from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player, Denis Cheryshev, during their match against third-rate Cadiz last week.
Denis Cheryshev had picked up three cards while on loan at Villarreal which meant he was due to serve a one-match ban when he was started by Real Madrid.
Cheryshev actually open up scoring for Los Blancos in their 3-1 victory, but the miscalculation to win the battle has lost Real Madrid the war.
Their appeal was seen as weak and fleeting in the eyes of the Spanish Football Federation who reportedly,
“Described Madrid’s argument as “strange” and that not disqualifying them would imply that clubs could field ineligible players without being punished.“
It’s a classic case of ignorance of the law not granting innocence. Real Madrid claim that they as a club, and Cheryshev as a player collectively had no idea that there was a ban, but this doesn’t change the fact that they fielded an ineligible player and need to be penalized.
More worrisome is that this isn’t the first time a Benitez has gotten his team ejected from a competition for a fielding farce.
Rafa’s Valencia team was kicked out of the cup competition in 2001 for fielding more than four non-EU players.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has already had to beat the media dogs back off Rafa, but it’s likely Benitez will have to shoulder the blame of this one on his own.