Ronaldo red-faced as Real appeal ban for Mtiliga elbow

Winger to miss Espanyol game and awaits decision for testing visit to Deportivo
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The Independent Football

Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo has been hit with a two-match ban following his red card against Malaga on Saturday.

Ronaldo was shown a straight red in the 70th minute of the Primera Division encounter at the Bernabeu after his swinging elbow caught Patrick Mtiliga in the face, leaving the Denmark defender with a broken nose.

Madrid have decided to appeal the decision and the hearing has been set for Thursday. If the Spanish giants are unsuccessful Ronaldo, who also scored both goals in the 2-0 victory, will miss the home clash with Espanyol as well as Saturday's testing trip to fifth-placed Deportivo La Coruna.

Valladolid goalkeeper Jacobo will be sidelined for at least two months after undergoing emergency surgery last night. Jacobo felt ill around midday yesterday and club doctors decided to rush him to hospital, where doctors remove a blockage in his intestines.

Valladolid have confirmed Jacobo will remain in hospital for a week and will be out of action for two months.

The 26-year-old, who suffered a knee injury in November, started the first seven games of the season before losing his place to Justo Villar.

It is the second serious injury at the club in the past few days after Sisi had an operation on a fissure in his fibula, which is set to sideline him until the end of March.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is coming under pressure to backtrack on his comment that only European nations may be considered as hosts for the 2018 World Cup. Fifa's original bidding rules stated countries could bid for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments simultaneously as they are being voted on at the same time in December. Blatter has now hinted that 2018 would be reserved for countries from Europe – the bidders are England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.

The remark has caused uproar, especially in Australia and to an extent in the USA, which were also bidding for 2018 and 2022. The view among the Fifa executive committee – which agreed the bidding policy – is that Blatter was speaking off the cuff.