Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has been suspended for five games after he insulted the referee who sent him off during Wednesday's victory over Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey.
The Spanish federation said on Thursday that Ramos repeatedly called the referee ''shameless'' after receiving his second yellow card for fouling Celta's Alex Lopez in the last-16 match.
"It was not a challenge for a second card," Ramos said. "I will not comment on the referee, because it is more of the same. I am leaving very annoyed, because the tie was in the balance and things like this happen. To see what happened you can watch the television."
Ramos later went to Twitter to diffuse the situation and apologize for his actions on the field of play.
"I regret the incident with the ref, these are moments of tension produced by my sending off," he tweeted. "We say things that afterwards we are sorry for."
"Independently of whether I think it (the punishment) is fair or not, I want to apologise to the coaching staff, my colleagues and the fans," Ramos tweeted.
"I hope that it will be equal in fairness and justice with those given to referees."
Ramos will miss Madrid's upcoming Spanish league matches against Osasuna, Valencia, and Getafe and both legs of its Copa quarterfinal against Valencia .
Madrid is already without injured defender Pepe. It's in third place in the league, 16 points behind leader Barcelona.
Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia was suspended for four games earlier this season for insulting a referee.
The Associated Press was used in this report.