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Court rejects Madrid’s appeal against Copa del Rey exclusion

December 28, 2015

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid has refused to concede defeat in its disqualification from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.

The club said Monday it will switch to the country’s regular law courts to challenge the Spanish soccer federation’s decision.

Spain’s top sports tribunal, the Administrative Court of Sport, had earlier Monday dismissed Madrid’s appeal against its exclusion from the competition.

In a statement, Madrid said it “respects but does not agree with the court’s ruling and as such announces its decision to pursue a judicial-administrative course of action, along with other possible legal options, which are currently being studied.”

The Administrative Court of Sport said it had “analyzed all the parties’ arguments” and dismissed Madrid’s appeal because it had fielded an “improper lineup.”

Madrid was expelled from the competition for fielding Denis Cheryshev in a first-leg 3-1 win over Cadiz on Dec. 2 in the Spanish giant’s opening round.

Cheryshev was carrying a one-match suspension for yellow cards received last season while on loan at Villarreal, a fact that Madrid seemed unaware of until halftime in the Cadiz match.

Spain’s soccer federation published its decision to bar Madrid on Dec 4.

The embarrassing mistake further dented Madrid’s image this season and deepened a crisis sparked by a demoralizing 4-0 home loss to bitter rival Barcelona.

However, the sports court left Madrid with an option to appeal the disqualification, but said it would need to take its case to Spain’s regular law courts — effectively starting litigation against Spain’s soccer federation.

There’s not much time. The first leg match in the last 16 between Cadiz and Celta Vigo is set for Jan. 7.

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