Cristiano Ronaldo faces starting the season with up to a 12-game ban for Real Madrid after pushing the referee following his red card against Barcelona in the Clasico on Sunday evening.
The Portuguese had an eventual cameo at the Nou Camp as he came on as a substitute in the second half before scoring a fine effort to give Real the lead on 80 minutes.
He removed his shirt to celebrate the goal, thus receiving a yellow card, before being shown a second minutes later for an alleged dive when running through on goal.
Ronaldo could not believe the decision was not a penalty, let alone a dive, after going down under pressure from Samuel Umtiti and appeared to shove referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea in the back as he left the field.
The referee did not seem to react at the time but La Liga could take action against the 32-year-old for his behaviour after the manner in which he left the field was included in the official’s report.
“After being shown the red card, the player pushed me gently to show his dissent,” De Burgos wrote in the document that covers all the incidents that occurred in the match.
Under article 96 of the Code of the Spanish Football Federation, it states that any player who “catches, shoots or shakes” a referee in a manner perceived to be violent risks a suspension anywhere between four and 12 matches.
The precedent for “mild violence against referees” is not good reading for Ronaldo, with Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone receiving an eight-game ban after being dismissed in the 2014 Super Cup after tapping the assistant referee on the head after being sent off.