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Cristiano Ronaldo hits out at 'persecution' after appeal over five-game ban is rejected

Real Madrid forward picked up the suspension for shoving the referee following his red card in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, right, gets sent off for a second yellow card during the Spanish Super Cup. Moments later he pushes the referee in the back. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo
Cristiano Ronaldo, right, gets sent off for a second yellow card during the Spanish Super Cup. Moments later he pushes the referee in the back. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo

Cristiano Ronaldo has called his five-match ban for pushing a referee "exaggerated and ridiculous" and claims he is being persecuted after failing to have the sanction overturned on appeal.

During Sunday night's Spanish Super Cup 3-1 first-leg victory over Barcelona, in which he scored, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo reacted badly after being shown a second yellow for diving by match official Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, shoving the Spaniard in the back.

A Spanish football federation (RFEF) committee has now dismissed an appeal, meaning Ronaldo will miss Wednesday evening's return leg against Barca and upcoming Primera Liga games against Deportivo La Coruna, Valenica, Levante and Real Sociedad.

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Ronaldo reacted angrily on social media, writing in an Instagram post on his official page: "It's impossible to stay quiet in this situation, five matches! To me it seems exaggerated and ridiculous, this is what you call persecution! Thanks to my teammates and to the fans for the support."

Ronaldo was found guilty of 'Violation of article 96 of the Disciplinary Code', which relates to using "mild force" against the officials, including grabbing, pushing or shaking.

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

He has also been fined €3,805 (Dh16,300), with Madrid fined €1,750.

"I am and we are very upset," Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane told the club's website. "I'm not going to get involved with the referees but, after what happened, to think that he'll not play for five games makes you think that something isn't right.

"It's too long for him. I have been very clear in my response. What happened, happened, but when you look at the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has got five matches, you have to admit that it is a lot."

* Press Association