09 March 2024

Real Madrid continue fight against ‘inappropriate’ Jude Bellingham ban

09 March 2024

Real Madrid are continuing their fight against Jude Bellingham’s red card with boss Carlo Ancelotti calling his two-match ban “overzealous and inappropriate”.

The 20-year-old England midfielder was sent off against Valencia last weekend after he remonstrated with referee Jesus Gil Manzano, who blew for full-time seconds before Bellingham headed in what would have been a winner for Real.

Madrid saw an initial appeal against a two-match suspension rejected by the Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF) competitions committee on Friday.

Bellingham has not been named in Madrid’s 20-man squad for Sunday’s LaLiga visit of Celta Vigo but the league leaders are not letting the issue lie and, according to reports, have launched an appeal with Spain’s sports administrative court TAD (Tribunal Administrativo del Deporte).

“We’ve appealed because we believe the sanction is overzealous and inappropriate,” Ancelotti said on the club’s official website on Saturday.

“He wasn’t insulting anyone, as is reflected in the report.

“They have looked at the way he approached the referee and I hope they haven’t singled him out because Bellingham protests in the same way as anyone else, in fact there are lots who do far worse.

“We think the sanction is not correct, and that’s why we have appealed.”

Ancelotti has also defended Vinicius Jr, who has attracted criticism for his recent performances.

“I’ve looked back at the statistics and I’ve never seen a player who has been so poorly treated,” the Italian said.

“He gets kicked, insulted, jeered… He scores goals and sets them up. I think everyone should rethink their attitudes towards Vini Jr.

“Never before has a player with that level of talent been so harshly treated. When something needs to be looked at, we don’t need to be making t-shirts.”

Despite being denied victory against Valencia, Madrid still hold a comfortable lead at the top of the table but Ancelotti admits his side, who have drawn three of their last four games in all competitions, have taken their “foot off the gas” in recent weeks.

“Following the Girona match, which was our best performance of the season, we’ve struggled and perhaps we’ve stepped our foot off the gas a bit,” he said.

“We have to think about where we haven’t been doing things so well, that’s how we’ll improve. We’re not concerned, we evaluate things in the most critical manner and we have to improve.

“We lacked intensity and a good attitude on Wednesday and tomorrow we have to make sure we get those things right.”

Celta make the trip to the Bernabeu lying 17th in the LaLiga standings but boosted by their 1-0 home win over Almeria last time out.

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