Real Madrid have been expelled from this season's Copa del Rey for fielding ineligible player Denis Cheryshev in Wednesday's last-32 first-leg game at Cadiz.
The Spanish FA, the RFEF, released an 11-page report that stated: "Cheryshev was ineligible to play ... so Madrid have forfeited the game and the tie is resolved in favour of Cadiz."
Real Madrid, who were also dealt a fine of €6,001, have 10 days to appeal. The club have announced that they will appeal the decision, first before the RFEF appeals committee and then, if necessary, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Real Madrid issued a statement late on Friday confirming the appeal. The statement pointed to the admission by the judge of the Spanish FA competition committee that Cheryshev had not been personally notified of his sanction as their justification for an appeal.
The club, in their statement, said that this admission "reaffirms their reasoning and confirms that the club are certain there will be a final resolution favourable for the club."
Real Madrid's expulsion from the competition takes place with immediate effect, meaning the second leg of the tie at the Santiago Bernabeu will not be played.
- RFEF (@rfef) December 4, 2015
Cheryshev, usually on the fringes of the Madrid first team, started against the third-tier side and scored his team's opener, but during the game it emerged that he was suspended, having been booked three times in the competition when on loan at Villarreal last term.
After the game Cadiz decided to officially appeal to the RFEF -- and on Friday morning the governing body's ruling judge and legal expert Francisco Rubio followed procedure and rejected both defences presented by Real Madrid.
Cadiz issued a statement on Friday saying they regretted the manner in which the decision was resolved.
"Cadiz can do nothing more than regret all that has happened," the statement said. "At no time did the club want to be the protagonist in the Copa del Rey qualifying -- beyond the celebration that it represented for our city to host one of the most important football clubs in the world.
"Out of respect for our club, players, coaches and fans, we will focus on winning next Sunday in our league match, which is our main goal this season as we look to move up to Second Division A."
Blancos president Florentino Perez said on Thursday that he did not accept his club were responsible, as nobody had informed them that Cheryshev was banned, and said he intended to appeal any punishment to the Spanish sports ministry's Administrative Court for Sport. He had earlier argued that the punishment would have been made null after the first three rounds of the Copa.
Cheryshev's one-match ban was published online by the RFEF in March, and all Spanish clubs were supposed to receive a document outlining all punishments rolling over into the new season in August. Perez has denied Madrid received this document.
Perez appeared to signal both Cheryshev himself and Villarreal as responsible for not having notified Madrid of the ban. Asked about this by Spanish sports newspaper Marca, Villarreal president Fernando Roig said: "I am not going to judge Florentino.
"We have people who keep an eye on our suspensions, not those of others. If we signed a player who had a ban, we would look at his situation before he played. Villarreal have nothing else to say. What other clubs do is not our concern."
A Madrid fan has told Spanish paper AS that he tried to warn the club that Cheryshev could not play against Cadiz but was politely told not to worry. A supporter is reportedly planning to bring a legal case against Perez personally for the loss of club revenue because there will be no more Copa games this season.
Other clubs in similar situations have avoided any such problems. Athletic Bilbao left out midfielder Raul Garcia this week knowing he had picked up a ban with Atletico Madrid last season. Third-tier Merida released a spoof video showing club captain Johny tied up in the dressing room -- to stop the banned midfielder from taking to the pitch in their Segunda B game against Cadiz next weekend.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique tweeted during Wednesday's game. Asked about this at a commercial event, he replied that the situation had been too funny not to comment on.
- Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) December 2, 2015
"I was watching some stand-up comedy," Pique said, before conceding "it was a joke. You know how I am -- it was to make it seem less serious, a bit of fun. The strange thing would have been, after all this, that I kept my mouth shut."
Blaugrana defender Dani Alves also got involved, saying the rules were clear and Madrid should be kicked out of this year's Copa.
"These things should not happen at a club like Real Madrid," Alves told radio show "El Partido de las 12."
"They should be eliminated; that's what the rules say. There is no defence for this."
Ex-Madrid player and now Getafe B coach Ruben de la Red told Marca that Benitez should not be blamed for what had happened and said that he has been "amazed" at the recent string of events at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
"As a coach, if it happened to me I would get annoyed at not knowing I could not pick a certain player," de la Red said. "As a fan, you are just amazed at what has gone on at Real Madrid."
Should Los Blancos fail in their appeal, it would be the first time that Real Madrid fail to reach the round of 16 since 2009-10, when they were knocked out by a third-division club.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.