Rafa Benitez insisted Real Madrid “acted in good faith” when replacing Denis Cheryshev with Mateo Kovacic at half-time against Cadiz on Wednesday.
The Russian was replaced 45 seconds into the second half of Los Blancos’ 3-1 win in the Copa del Rey last-32 first leg against the Segunda B side, amidst claims he was ineligible to play due to a yellow-card suspension from his loan spell at Villarreal last season.
“The club knew nothing [about a ban],” the Coach said after the game.
“Neither did the RFEF nor Villarreal tell us anything. Nothing was known and when we heard about it, we replaced him.
“We learned [of Cheryshev’s possible ban] at half-time and acted in good faith to replace him.
“I’ve already given a reply [on the issue]. We had a great game, we won and I’m satisfied.
“We did what we had to do and had a great game [on lack of management responsibility].
“I’ve answered this three times now [on whether Madrid could be expelled].
“I’m pleased with the result and what the team did.
“I only speak of what I’ve seen on the pitch. The rest isn’t for me [to discuss].”