Real Madrid will reportedly argue that Cristiano Ronaldo's gesture was merely expressing frustration. (David Ramos/Getty Image)
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti was right on Tuesday when he said he expects his star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to play on Wednesday despite being handed a red card and making a gesture at the referee following Sunday's early exit in a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao.
On Wednesday, the Portuguese star received a three-game suspension but was spared for Wednesday's Copa del Rey semifinal, according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. He will miss games against Villarreal and Elche at home and away at Getafe.
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Spain's competition committee reportedly felt that the raising of his hand during a confrontation with Carlos Gurpegi and Ander Iturraspe in Sunday's match is reason enough for a one-game ban, but another two games were added to the ban for what the committee said was an "inconsiderate" gesture -- a slap on the cheek -- to the referee as he exited the field.
From the ESPN.com report:
Madrid are reportedly set to appeal, with that hearing likely to take place Friday morning. They had hoped for a lesser ban, and their legal experts had reportedly prepared a defence including apparent errors in referee Miguel Angel Ayza Gamez's report and an argument that Ronaldo’s gesture towards an assistant referee had been just a show of frustration.STRAUS: Beckham exercises MLS ownership option, but Miami expansion not yet complete