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Did chaotic Camavinga substitution see Real Madrid field ineligible player against Getafe?

According to the laws of the game, Real Madrid should not have been allowed to bring Eduardo Camavinga off instead of Marco Asensio.

According to the laws of the game, Real Madrid should not have been allowed to bring Eduardo Camavinga off instead of Marco Asensio.

Eduardo Camavinga’s chaotic late substitution in Real Madrid’s win over Getafe has led to suggestions that Los Blancos should face punishment for fielding an ineligible player.

Camavinga comes off... after Asensio comes back on

Camavinga was replaced in the 84th minute of Madrid’s 1-0 LaLiga victory at the Bernabéu on Saturday, but was not originally the player chosen to come off. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti initially opted to introduce Álvaro Odriozola for Marco Asensio; indeed, the latter left the field and made way for Odriozola.

At this point, however, Camavinga asked to be brought off, having picked up an injury in a challenge with Getafe’s Juan Iglesias. That forced Madrid into a hasty change of plans, with Asensio returning to the pitch and the Frenchman becoming the player replaced by Odriozola.

“The replaced player becomes a substituted player”

According to the laws of the game published by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), Madrid should not have been able to walk back their chosen change of personnel. Per law 3.3, which governs ‘substitution procedure’, “the substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play; from that moment, the replaced player becomes a substituted player”.

Ref could face rap after failing to stick to rules

At the Bernabéu, referee Juan Martínez Munuera did not follow this rule. With Odriozola now on the pitch and Asensio off it, the match official allowed the forward to come back on and carry on playing instead of Camavinga. As Odriozola’s introduction was the last of Madrid’s five permitted substitutions, Camavinga’s inability to continue should have seen Los Merengues reduced to 10 men for the final minutes of the game.

It’s possible that Getafe could choose to lodge a complaint over Asensio’s presence on the pitch after the substitution, albeit the indications are that Los Azulones would be unlikely to be successful were they to seek to have Saturday’s result overturned.

At most, it is thought that Martínez Munuera’s error could see the referee punished by Spain’s Comité Técnico de Árbitros, the refereeing committee that oversees officiating in Spanish soccer.