Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has been handed an extra one-match Champions League ban by UEFA for deliberately picking up a booking against Ajax earlier this month.
Ramos was shown a yellow card in the closing stages of Real's 2-1 victory in Amsterdam, which means he is suspended for the last-16 second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on March 5.
The Spain international then suggested in an interview after the match that he had been booked intentionally so as to avoid the risk of a suspension in the quarter-finals, although he later backtracked on those comments.
However, UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) have now adjudged that Ramos had deliberately got himself booked and have issued an additional ban, meaning he will miss the first leg of the quarter-final should Real progress.
“The CEDB has decided to suspend the Real Madrid CF player Sergio Ramos for two UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose,” read a UEFA statement. “The two-match suspension includes the automatic one-match suspension for the repeated cautions.”
Ramos was shown a yellow card for a foul on Ajax striker Kasper Dolberg shortly after Marco Asensio had given Real Madrid an 87th-minute 2-1 lead.
That ruled the 32-year-old out of the second leg but would have ensured he was available for the quarter-final.
Speaking after the game, the Real Madrid captain admitted to reporters than he had got himself booked on purpose.
"Looking at the result, I'd be lying if I said I didn't force [the booking]," he said.
"It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football you have to make tough decisions."
Ramos later backtracked from his comments with a post on social media.
"I want to make it clear that it hurts more than anyone, I have not forced the card, as I did not against Roma in my previous Champions League match," the defender wrote on Twitter.
"I will support from the stands as one more fan with the illusion of being in the quarters."
Despite those comments UEFA opened an investigation into the incident the following day and have now decided to take disciplinary action.
News of the additional ban is perhaps not a surprise for Ramos after Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia was given a two-match ban by UEFA for being booked deliberately in a Europa League meeting with Celtic.
The midfielder was given a yellow card in the 82nd minute of his side’s 2-0 win in Glasgow for delaying a free kick.
Kondogbia will now miss both legs of his side's last-16 tie against FC Krasnodar next month.