Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has been charged by UEFA for receiving a yellow card on purpose during the Champions League match against Ajax in order to serve a suspension before the quarter-finals.
Defender Ramos was booked in the 89th minute of Madrid’s 2-1 victory in Amsterdam on February 13, which meant he would therefore miss the second leg of the last-16 tie at the Bernabeu.
Speaking immediately after the match, Ramos was quoted as saying he “would be lying” if he denied deliberately earning the booking.
The defender, however, later used social media to stress it had not been intentional to collect a caution, referring instead to purposefully giving away a free-kick to prevent an Ajax equaliser.
Governing body UEFA launched a disciplinary investigation and confirmed on Tuesday evening Ramos had been charged under Article 15.
If found guilty when the case is dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on February 28, Ramos could be punished with an extended suspension.
Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia was recently handed out a two-match ban by UEFA after being ruled to have deliberately received a caution during the Europa League win at Celtic.
Ramos had also given an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca to once more deny any wrongdoing.
“I’m very surprised about all this. I was referring to forcing the foul, a foul that was inevitable. Not to forcing the booking,” the Real Madrid captain said.
Asked if he knew the foul was likely to lead to a yellow card and a ban, he added: “Yes, but I had no choice.
“It was a very dangerous counterattack in the 88th minute, with an open match and the tie as well.
“That’s why I said that I would lie if I said I did not know that I was carrying a penalty, just as I knew that I had no other choice than to make a mistake. And that’s what I meant when I said that in football you have to make complicated decisions.”
Ramos added: “If I had wanted to force a penalty, I could have done it in the group stage, in the match against Roma because we were already classified as first of groups and the last game, against CSKA, was inconsequential. By the way, a match in which I did not play.”
UEFA, meanwhile, also confirmed in a statement on Tuesday evening that disciplinary proceedings were opened following a complaint made by Tottenham after the Champions League group match away to Barcelona on December 11.
As a result, Barcelona have been charged with insufficient organisation at the Nou Camp.
The case is set to be dealt with at the next meeting of UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on March 28.