Wednesday September 19 2018
Ref didn't see Ronaldo incident

Cristiano Ronaldo was controversially sent off in the Champions League, but it remains to be seen how long the Juventus star will be banned for.

The Ballon d’Or winner was distraught at the red card just 29 minutes into tonight’s game against Valencia, which Juve eventually won 2-0.

He seemed to lightly tug or ruffle Jeison Murillo’s hair in an off the ball incident after the pair clashed.

German referee Felix Brych did not see the incident, but was called over by his goal-line assistant Marco Fritz.

Sky Sport Italia analysed the footage and with lip-reading found that Fritz told Brych there was a tug of the hair, so the referee twice asked if it was a red card offence and twice Fritz replied in the affirmative.

This could prove decisive with regards to the extent of the ban, because the referee cannot write in his report that he saw violent conduct, only that it was passed on to him.

There is no VAR in the Champions League and Ronaldo will receive an automatic one-match ban with no right of appeal, but it could be worse.

It depends on how UEFA decide to view the incident and violent conduct would mean a three-match ban.

Juve’s fixture list in the Champions League has them up against Swiss side Young Boys on October 2, but after that are the trip to Manchester United on October 23 and hosting Jose Mourinho’s side on November 7.

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