Oversights and admin errors happen in all walks of life. Sometimes nothing comes of it, maybe a parcel is delayed or sent out to the wrong address; you might miss a doctor’s appointment. But a similarly mundane mistake on Wednesday night looks like it’s caused Real Madrid’s expulsion from this season’s Copa del Rey, Spain’s domestic cup competition.
The oversight in question was the fielding of Russian winger Denis Cheryshev in the 3-1 win over Cadiz, who should have been serving a suspension after picking up three yellow cards when playing for Villareal in last season’s tournament.
As the game started the news began to break that Real Madrid had made a huge mistake, which prompted Cadiz fans to chant “Check your Twitter” and “He’s not allowed to play” at Real manager Rafa Benitez. Benitez was made aware of the situation at half-time, after Cheryshev had already marked his appearance with a goal, and promptly substituted the Russian. Unfortunately the damage had been done.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed the decision earlier today, as the federation’s competition committee judge, Francisco Rubio Sánchez, ruled to eject Real Madrid from the tournament, as well as hitting the club with a fine of €6,001. “Cheryshev was ineligible to play… so the tie is resolved in favour of Cadiz,” said the RFEF in a statement.
It’s likely that Real Madrid will seek to appeal against the decision, but as their actions were in clear breach of the rules it’s unlikely the decision will be overturned. Club president Florentino Perez is now likely to come under even more pressure, having overseen several embarrassing moment for Real in the last few months.
After the controversial exit of club legend Iker Casillas in the summer, an absolute fiasco followed involving a supposed broken fax machine on transfer deadline day, which ended in a cancelled deal for Manchester United’s David De Gea. With Copa del Rey expulsion the latest in a line of controversial oversights, Perez is currently one of the most unpopular men in Madrid, although not with Atlético fans, of course.