On Wednesday, Russian midfielder Denis Cheryshev started for Real Madrid and scored a first-half goal. Madrid went on to win 3-1 and looked primed to advance to the next round of the competition, which is a year-long intra-league tournament just like the F.A. Cup in England. However, Cheryshev was technically ineligible to play due to yellow card accumulation that dated back to the prior season, when he was on loan from Real Madrid and played for Spanish side Villareal.
According to AS English, Cheryshev was supposed to serve a one-match suspension specifically in the Copa del Rey because three of the yellow cards he had received came during last year’s tournament. According to the rule, a team that violates this loses the game, and if it is a knockout competition, they are expelled from the tournament. As such, Real Madrid is out.
AS English also reported that th Cádiz fans were aware of the rule, chanting “Cheryshev, we love you” and “Benítez, check Twitter” at Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez during the first half of the match.
Cheryshev was quickly substituted out of the game at the start of the second half, but at that point it was already too late.
At least one notable Real Madrid hater, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, expressed his schadenfreude as the entire debacle unfurled:
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) December 2, 2015
According to ABC, Real Madrid will likely appeal the ruling.
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