Real Madrid Expelled from Copa del Rey After Playing Ineligible Denis Cheryshev

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured Columnist

Real Madrid's Cherishev walks off the field as Rafa Benitez gestures during a Copa del Rey soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon de Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday Dec. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Angel Fernandez)
Angel Fernandez/Associated Press

Real Madrid have been disqualified from this season's Copa del Rey after Denis Cheryshev was fielded as an ineligible player during the round-of-32 clash against Cadiz on Dec. 2and Los Blancos have lost both of their appeals over the decision.

The Russian scored the opener in a 3-1 victory, but it later emerged Cheryshev should have been serving a one-match suspension. Guillem Balague of Sky Sports confirmed that error led to Madrid being expelled from the competition.

Los Blancos appealed the decision but failed to receive a positive response on Thursday, Dec. 10, per Kieran Canning of the Agence France-Presse. On Friday, Dec. 11, Real launched a second appeal only to face the same result, per AS English:

AS English @English_AS

Breaking: the Spanish Sports Ministry’s Administrative Court has rejected Real's appeal, meaning the club are out of the Copa del Rey.

Madrid released a statement on the original decision:

The competition judge acknowledges that Cheryshev was not personally notified about his ban.

Real Madrid C.F. received the competition judge's decision at 6:17pm CET and after analysing it can verify the acknowledgement that the Spanish Football Federation did not personally notify Cheryshev about his ban, which is the only way the ban can take effect, as article 41 section two of the Disciplinary Code clearly states. We at Real Madrid C.F. stand by our argument and will take the appropriate action to ensure that the final outcome is favourable for the club.

The 24-year-old picked up his third yellow card of the 2014-15 Copa del Rey campaign during a fixture against Barcelona in March while on loan at Villarreal, incurring his one-game ban as a result.

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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez backed his team following claims they could be ousted from the tournament. He was quoted by BBC Sport and insisted every player's status had been checked "rigorously": 

We received nothing, no note, nothing from the RFEF. We'll take this to the appeals, then the arbitration court. 

We checked the situations of all of the players listed in the squad rigorously before yesterday's game.

Chendo [Real Madrid's matchday delegate] and coach Rafa Benítez want the best for Madrid but they do not think they have made any error in this instance.

Despite that rebellion, Madrid have been unsuccessful in their fight against the rulebook, and the Spanish Football Federation has taken a steadfast attitude regarding the club's supposed mistake.

The debacle is but the latest disappointment in Rafa Benitez's maiden term at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Los Merengues still reeling from a 4-0 Clasico defeat at home to Barcelona in November.

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