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Cristiano Ronaldo is in danger of missing as many as 12 games after shoving the centre referee in Madrid’s 1-3 win at Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to score a stunner and was shown the yellow card for taking off his shirt, before the referee gave him the matching off orders for a second bookable offence for diving.

Ronaldo lost his cool and shove the referee, while agitating the knight of whistle made the wrong call.

Bengoetxea included the altercation in his post-game match report, writing: “Player: Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro. Once the red card was shown, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of disagreement.”

The shove could trigger a ban of up to 12 matches under Article 96 of the Spanish federation’s rule book, which deals with “Slight violence towards referees”.

Article 96 applies to players who “grab, push or shake” a referee in a manner that is “slightly violent”, and recommends a suspension of 4-12 matches for the action.

Ronaldo’s fate is now in the hands of the Spanish federation’s competition committee, who will decide how many games the 32-year-old would be forced to sit out in addition to the one-game ban stemming from his red card.

Should the ban hold, it would apply in all Spanish competitions, including La Liga. 

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