Spain’s top sports court has dismissed Real Madrid’s appeal against their exclusion from the Copa Del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.
The Administrative Court of Sport said it had "analysed all the parties’ arguments" and ruled to "dismiss Real Madrid’s appeal" for fielding an "improper line-up".
Madrid were expelled from the competition after Denis Cheryshev started and scored in the fourth-round tie against Cadiz on December 2, despite being suspended.
The Russia winger had picked up a third yellow card in the semi-finals of last season’s competition when on loan at Villarreal. Cheryshev was withdrawn moments after half-time when Real had realized their error.
A statement on Real Madrid’s official website said: "The club respects but does not agree with the Court’s ruling and as such announces its decision to pursue a judicial-administrative course of action, along with other possible legal options, which are currently being studied."
The 19-time cup winners were also fined 6,000 euros (Â£4315).