Ronaldo cries ‘persecution’ after appeal against 5-game ban is rejected

first_imgMADRID, Spain – Cristiano Ronaldo blasted his treatment by the Spanish Football Federation as “persecution” after his appeal against a five-game ban was rejected yesterday.The World Player-of-the-Year missed the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona later yesterday and will miss Madrid’s first four games of the season in La Liga.“Impossible to be immune to this situation, 5 games!!” Ronaldo posted to his 108 million followers on Instagram.“It seems to me exaggerated and ridiculous; this is called persecution!“Thanks to my teammates for the support and the fans!!!”The Portuguese captain was controversially sent off as Madrid won the first leg of the Super Cup 3-1 on Sunday at the Camp Nou.Ronaldo had come off the bench to fire Madrid into a 2-1 lead but was booked for removing his shirt in celebration and then saw a second yellow card when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea adjudged he had dived trying to win a penalty eight minutes from time.After being shown the 10th red card of his career, Ronaldo then lightly pushed the referee.On Monday the Spanish Federation (RFEF) issued Ronaldo with an automatic one-game ban for the red card plus an extra four-match suspension for the push.Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has also expressed his anger at what he believes is an excessive punishment.“When you look at everything that happened, to think Cristiano won’t play five games with us… it is infuriating,” Zidane said on Tuesday.Ronaldo will be absent when Madrid begin their defence of La Liga on Sunday at Deportivo la Coruna as well as for home games against Valencia and Levante and a trip to Real Sociedad.Ronaldo will, though, be free to play when Madrid begin their Champions League campaign on September 12 or 13. (AFP)last_img read more

Lakers snap losing streak with narrow win over Celtics

first_imgIn a game that featured seven ties and eight lead changes, the finish fueled a heated rivalry that once rested on championships.With the Lakers nursing a 105-104 lead with 18.3 seconds left, forward Wesley Johnson drew a swarm of Boston defenders that forced a jump ball. Much to the dismay of Boston, officials determined the replays showed the ball equally bouncing off the finger tips of Johnson and Gerald Wallace.“I said it was for us so you have to have evidence to overturn that,” D’Antoni recalled telling the officials. “So I just asked, ‘Where’s the evidence?” There’s no evidence if you can’t see what happened.”Johnson then won on the second jump ball attempt.“Once they told me to jump it again,” Johnson said, “I knew I was going to get it.” BOSTON — Amid the persisting losses, endless injuries and bleak playoff fortunes, the Lakers can at least pinpoint this accomplishment during the 2013-14 season on their resume.The Lakers beat the Celtics. The cast of characters didn’t feature Hall of Famers. The implications hardly provided an NBA Finals preview. But the Lakers’ 107-104 victory Friday over Boston at TD Garden snapped a six-game losing streak and suddenly gave a team losing 12 of its past 14 games renewed confidence. “It’s a big rivalry and we experienced so much against them,” said Pau Gasol, who posted 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 13 rebounds and six assists. “Even though the teams have changed quite a bit, it’s still great to come in and beat this team here. With the losing streak we had going on, it’s more meaningful.” Lakers rookie forward Ryan Kelly then grabbed the ball and nailed two free throws that both secured the win and polished off a career-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting. In his first appearance since rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee for the past year, Boston All-Star guard Rajon Rondo then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer before time expired. He finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting and four assists in 19 minutes.“I’m confident in my game,” Kelly said. “I’ve been working my butt off with our coaching staff and putting in the extra time. I’m growing every game I step on the floor.”So did Kendall Marshall, whose 19-point effort included a 3-pointer that put the Lakers up 105-104 with 1:09 left. Marshall’s play coincided with his apology earlier Friday toward Nick Young, who served a one-game suspension for committing a “punching foul” on Suns guard Goran Dragic in Wednesday’s loss Phoenix. Young called out his teammates for not helping him in an altercation.“It got to the point where we have to put our foot down,” Marshall said. “We’d like to have Nick with us, but he lit a fire in us and he got us going.” The Lakers (15-25) believe such a mindset secured a win against the hated Celtics (14-27) despite several variables. Long-term injuries to the Lakers’ backcourt. Manny Harris posting seven points on 2-of-7 shooting in his first game since dominating the Development League earlier this week. The Lakers’ 19 turnovers. Boston rookie Kelly Olynyk posting a career-high 29 points. But the Lakers won the rebounding battle, 46-44. The Lakers held Boston scoreless for the last three minutes. The effort presumably put injured star Kobe Bryant in a better mood.“It’s been very difficult and very frustrating. I try to detach from it as much as possible. I feel like Bruce Banner and putting him in the middle of a bar fight and hope he doesn’t become the Hulk,” Bryant said, referring to the popular comic book series. This time, the Lakers felt much different.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more