MADRID – Real Madrid captain and defender Sergio Ramos has been handed a two-match ban for forcing a yellow card in the dying minutes of Madrid’s 2-1 win over Ajax in the first leg of the Champions League last-16, UEFA announced on Thursday.
Ramos was shown a yellow card with just one minute to go before the second-half stoppage time, after Spain winger Marco Asensio had sealed the win over host Ajax.
The UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary body decided “to suspend the Real Madrid CF player Sergio Ramos for two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose,” the soccer governing body said in a statement on its website.
“The two-match suspension includes the automatic one-match suspension for the repeated cautions,” the statement ran.
With one leg in the quarterfinals, Ramos apparently deliberately earned a yellow card by fouling Ajax and Denmark forward Kasper Dolberg so that he could be eligible with no suspensions hanging over him starting from the last-8 round, should his team qualify for it.
“Looking at the result, I would be lying if I said I didn’t force it,” Ramos said after the match.
“It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football, you have to make tough decisions,” he added.
However, Ramos later rectified his position, as he said he did not mean that he deliberately got the yellow card.
“I was referring to forcing the foul, a foul that was inevitable. Not to forcing the booking,” he said, adding “It was a very dangerous counter-attack in the 88th minute, with an open match and the tie as well.”
Following his remarks after the game, UEFA decided to open an inquiry into the player’s attitude.
UEFA also decided to hand Madrid a 1,500-euro ($1,707) fine over setting off fireworks, while it imposed a 19,000-euro fine on Ajax for “Throwing of objects, setting off of fireworks and (hoisting) illicit banner.”
Madrid, the most successful team at the Champions League with 13 titles including four out of the most recent five editions, is to host Ajax on Tuesday for the second leg.