Disciplinary proceedings were opened against Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos for deliberately picking up a late booking in round-of-16 match against Ajax. Just after Marco Asensio put Madrid ahead in the 87th minute with 2-1 lead, Ramos rattled Ajax substitute Kasper Dolberg near the centre circle. He secured a third yellow card in this year’s competition.
UEFA will hear his case on February 28 and he might face a two-match suspension from Champions League.
“With the result, I would be lying if I said I did not force [the yellow card], it was something I had in mind… It is not about underestimating the opponent or thinking the tie is already over. But, in football, there are difficult decisions to make and I decided to do it,” stated Ramos in his statement.
According to UEFA regulations, any player who “receives a yellow card on purpose” might face a two-game suspension. Ramos took to Twitter after the game to clarify his earlier comments.
“In a game with a lot of tension, emotions and pulses racing, you must make decisions in seconds,” he tweeted. “The best thing about today is the result… The worst is not being able to play in the return game with my teammates and the tie still up for grabs. I want to leave it clear that I am hurting more than anybody, that I did not force the card, just like I did not in previous Champions League game against Roma. I will support the team from the stands like any other fan, looking forward to being in the quarterfinals.”
There was also a controversy related to the VAR. A goal was disallowed for the first time in Champions League history using the technology.
Madrid has been critical of the technology being used in the La Liga but this time they benefitted from it.
“I’m a big defender of VAR,” said Ramos. “Bit by bit it is making football fairer.”
“Other times it has not gone in our favour, but today it disallowed a very important goal against us.”