Soccer-Pepe faces lengthy ban after Getafe send off
MADRID, April 22 |
MADRID, April 22 (Reuters) - Real Madrid defender Pepe faced a lengthy suspension after the referee detailed the Portugal international's aggression on Tuesday toward two Getafe players and the fourth official in his match report.
With the scores level at 2-2 and three minutes left in the Primera Liga clash at the Bernabeu, Pepe pushed Getafe's Francisco Casquero and the referee awarded a penalty.
Pepe then kicked Casquero on the ground and a second swipe saw him rake his studs over the midfielder's back. In the ensuing melee he struck another Getafe player, Juan Albin, in the face.
He was shown a straight red card, having already picked up a yellow earlier in the match, which Real won 3-2 thanks to Gonzalo Higuain's dramatic winner in added time.
"The home player (Pepe) kicked the fouled player and punched an opponent in the face," referee Carlos Delgado Ferreiro said in his report.
"The said player then directed the following phrase at the fourth official as he was leaving the pitch: 'You are all sons of whores'," he wrote.
Pepe also broke the rules by coming back on to the pitch to celebrate Higuain's winner with his teammates, Delgado added.
Pepe later apologised for his actions but will miss the match at third-placed Sevilla this weekend and is almost certain to be banned for the home clash against Barcelona in around 10 days time.
Real's win cut Barca's advantage to three points ahead of the leaders' match against Sevilla at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
Depending on the disciplinary body's decision, likely to be made public toward the end of this week, Pepe could even be barred from playing in any of the champions' remaining six games.
Getafe president Angel Torres was quoted as saying in the Spanish media he hoped Pepe was handed a 10-match ban.
"You can win or lose a match but a player cannot behave in that way, especially if you are in a big team playing against a small one," he said.
Real coach Juande Ramos defended Pepe after the match, saying he had intended to kick the air and not the player.
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who saved Casquero's penalty, was less forgiving: "You cannot do what Pepe did while wearing the Real Madrid shirt." (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by N.Ananthanarayanan; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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