NNA - 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.
Las Palmas player Marko Livaja was also banned for four games for pushing the referee in a game against Alaves.
If Ronaldo’s actions are deemed worthy of only four games, the suspension will only apply to the Spanish Super Cup, however, any more than four games and the ban will carry over to La Liga matches too.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane called the red card "harsh" but refused to comment on the alleged push ahead of the return leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
"As always, I'm not going to get involved in discussing the work of the referee," Zidane told reporters. "We played a great game, but what annoyed me was Cristiano Ronaldo's dismissal.
"Maybe there's no penalty, but to show a card [for alleged diving] was a little harsh. However, we cannot change that, even if we'll try to have him available for Wednesday." ---The Independent