MADRID, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Disciplinary Committee of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Wednesday decided to suspend Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo for three games following his red card during Sunday's 1-1 draw away to Athletic Club Bilbao.
Ronaldo was sent off in the 75th minute of the game by referee Ayza Gamez following an altercation with Athletic players Carlos Gurpegui and Ander Iturraspe.
He stepped on Gurpegui's foot and then Gurpegui responded with a slight push on his chest, Ronaldo appeared to scrape his fingers down the side of the defender's face. Iturraspe then rushed in and the two put their heads together before Ronaldo gave him a slight slap across the cheek.
The RFEF have suspended Ronaldo for one game for his actions against Iturraspe, while adding a further two-game ban for what they consider to be gestures of disrespect as Ronaldo slapped his face: a traditional gesture which can be taken to mean 'you have a nerve.', as he walked off the pitch.
The ban means Ronaldo will miss the BBVA Primera Liga games at home to Villarreal and Elche and the short trip to Getafe, but he will be able to play in the Copa del Rey semifinal against Atletico Madrid, with the first leg in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday night.
Had the ban been for four games or more Ronaldo would have missed both Cup games, but given the ban is shorter, he will be suspended for matches in the same competition in which he was sent off.
Real Madrid are likely to appeal against the suspension, but the club has so far not made any official comment.