Ex-Everton & Real Madrid star James Rodriguez sent off in bizarre incident during Al-Rayyan defeat



Ex-Everton and Real Madrid star James Rodriguez was sent off in a bizarre incident during Al-Rayyan’s 2-1 defeat to Al-Arabi on Saturday.

James made his third appearance for Al-Rayyan since joining the club from Everton in September, starting in a No.10 role once again, a week on from netting his first goal in a 4-2 victory over Al-Sailiya.

However, the 30-year-old didn’t make it to the final whistle after clashing with the referee in stoppage time, and he could now be facing a lengthy suspension for his conduct.

What happened?

James was taken out by an Al-Arabi defender after reacting quickest to a loose ball on the edge of the opposition box, with the referee subsequently awarding a free-kick for the foul.

A number of Al-Rayyan players were furious at the challenge, and a melee ensued between both teams while James remained on the floor clutching his leg.

The midfielder eventually got up in preparation to take the free kick, only for the referee to run over and show him a yellow card, which prompted an angry reaction.

James appeared to try and square up to the match official while protesting his innocence as his team-mates tried to hold him back, but he was then shown a second yellow before a customary red card.

The former Everton playmaker then sarcastically clapped the referee before removing his shirt and jogging off, with Al-Rayyan’s loss ultimately confirmed moments later.

James’ troubles continue in Qatar

James has endured a spectacular fall from grace in recent years, having initially been sold to Everton in the summer of 2020 after falling out of favour at Real Madrid.

The Colombian made an impressive start to life at Goodison Park under Carlo Ancelotti, but his first season in England ended up being overshadowed by fitness issues.

Ancelotti returned to Real for a second spell ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, and James was frozen out of the Toffees squad completely by his replacement Rafa Benitez, which led to the surprise switch to Qatar.

He has lost two of his first three games with Al Rayyan, and a disciplinary charge could now be coming his way, with his career trajectory taking another turn for the worse as he toils to rediscover the form that once saw him emerge as one of the brightest prospects in Europe.

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