Referee who sent off Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for a month and barred from officiating Real Madrid matches

The referee who sent off Cristiano Ronaldo in Sunday's draw between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid has been suspended for a month, according to the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

It has reported that Spain's refereeing technical committee has dropped Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez for a month in the wake of his performance when he showed a straight red card to Ronaldo.

The station also says that Ayza Gámez will not be appointed to any further Real Madrid matches this season and is in grave danger of being relegated from the list of Liga match officials.

The decision is a boost to Madrid's hopes of seeing Ronaldo's three-match ban overturned or reduced by the Spanish Football Federation's appeals committee, which convenes on Friday.

Ronaldo was sent off for the seventh time in his career in the 75th minute of Sunday's 1-1 draw at San Mames after he raised his hand to Bilbao captain Carlos Gurpegi, who fell to the floor theatrically.

He also confronted Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe during an ugly melee.
The two dropped points left Real three points behind Atlético Madrid and level with Barcelona.