Thursday 19 July 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo should have been given maximum 12-game ban for pushing referee, insists Graham Poll

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid (L) gestures after gets a red card from Fifa Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bergoetxea (R) during the Supercopa de Espana Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Marcio Rodrigo Machado/Power Sport Images/Getty Images,)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid (L) gestures after gets a red card from Fifa Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bergoetxea (R) during the Supercopa de Espana Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Marcio Rodrigo Machado/Power Sport Images/Getty Images,)

Jack Austin

Cristiano Ronaldo should have been handed the maximum 12-game ban for his push on the referee after being sent off in Real Madrid’s Clasico win over Fc Barcelona on Sunday night, according to former Premier League referee Graham Poll.

The 32-year-old came off the bench to score a stunning goal before picking up a caution for his celebration and a second yellow card for an alleged dive two minutes later.

That left the reigning Ballon d’Or winner furious with referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea as he shoved him in the back before leaving the field.

“After being shown the red card, the player pushed me gently to show his dissent,” De Burgos wrote in the document that covers all the incidents that occurred in the match.

Under article 96 of the Code of the Spanish Football Federation, it states that any player who “catches, shoots or shakes” a referee in a manner perceived to be violent risks a suspension anywhere between four and 12 matches.

However, Ronaldo got away with a five game ban from La Liga, only four of which were for the shove, the minimum suspension available.

But Poll thinks Ronaldo should have been made an example of and slapped with the maximum 12-game suspension.

“In the circumstances, I am disappointed he hasn't been hit with the heaviest sanction possible — 12 matches,” he said in his column in the Daily Mail.

“Footballers from the Premier League down must understand that touching, pushing or striking a match official is unacceptable and a five-match ban does not help.

“A similar offence by Las Palmas striker Marko Livaja attracted only a four-match ban. Ronaldo's behaviour in the Nou Camp proves that was not enough of a deterrent.

“Youngsters all over the world watch and copy Ronaldo. Such a high-profile player must be shown that he needs to be a good role model.”

As a result of the ban, Ronaldo will be unable to play Real's first four La Liga fixtures, as well as the return leg against Barcelona, against Deportivo, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.

(© Independent News Service)

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