Cristiano Ronaldo suffered the first Champions League red card of his career for Juventus but which games will he be suspended for? Could he miss a return to Old Trafford?
The Portugal forward appeared to pull Valencia defender Jeison Murillo’s hair – and was shown a straight red card – although Juventus went on to win 2-0 without him on Wednesday.
Unlike the Premier League’s automatic three-game ban for violent conduct, Uefa’s punishments are on a case-by-case basis.
A one-game ban is automatic – with no right of appeal – but Uefa regulation 50.01 for the competition says that “in case of serious offences, the Uefa control, ethics and disciplinary body is entitled to augment this punishment”.
Ronaldo, 33, will definitely miss their next Champions League game against Young Boys on 2 October – but a two-game ban would rule him out of the trip to his former side Manchester United on 23 October.
And if he were to be handed a three-match suspension, he would also miss Juve’s home game against United on 7 November.
Uefa could possibly decide to increase the ban because of the time it took Ronaldo, who was in tears, to leave the pitch.
But former Red Devils midfielder Darren Fletcher expects the Champions League’s all-time top scorer to play both games against his old side.
“It was a soft sending-off for Ronaldo, but the letter of the law says you probably cannot do that, so I think the one-match ban will probably stick,” the Stoke player told BBC Radio 5 live.
“He will feel like he was letting his team-mates down in that moment, but I expect him to play in both games against Manchester United.”
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted that Juventus have “surely got to appeal this”, but former Celtic forward Chris Sutton said Ronaldo had “only himself to blame… definite red”.
Could VAR have saved Ronaldo?
The video assistant referee (VAR) system is not being employed in the Champions League this season.
Ronaldo escaped a red card while playing for Portugal against Iran in this summer’s World Cup when a VAR decision resulted in him being booked.
And Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri said after Wednesday’s game: “VAR would’ve helped the referee in this decision.
“Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with this and we’ll miss him for the next games too.
“He was disappointed, but it takes time to calm down. He must get over it, and get ready for Sunday [against Frosinone], even if they are situations that leave a bitter taste in the mouth.”