Barcelona defender Pique denies abusing linesman

Barcelona, Aug 19 (IANS) FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has denied using abusive language towards an assistant referee that earned him a red card during the Spanish Super Cup second leg against Athletic Bilbao.

The central defender was enraged after the absence of an off-side flag against Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz 10 minutes into the second half of Monday’s game at the Nou Camp and launched into an angry confrontation with the assistant referee.

According to the official report submitted by the referee, he expelled Pique after the Spanish international shouted “I s*** on your w**** mother” at the official. The incident could see Pique banned for the first four La Liga games of the season.

But Pique, who has issued an apology for his behaviour, has denied that he used abusive language during the incident.

“I want to apologise because the attitude with which I protested to the linesman wasn`t correct. It was a game of great tension in which we were playing for a lot,” the former World Cup winner wrote on his official account on social media platform Twitter.

“However, at no moment did I use any type of insult towards him.”

Barcelona have also contested the referee’s version of the event and have lodged an appeal against the red card.

“FC Barcelona has presented on Tuesday an appeal against the red card shown to Gerard Pique in the 58th minute of the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Club,” the club said in a statement.

“In the appeal we wanted to make clear that the player did not address the assistant referee in the terms written afterwards by the referee Velasco Carballo in the referee`s report.”

The disciplinary committee of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to decide Pique`s fate.

Similar breaches of discipline have earned players four match bans in the past. If Pique is punished similarly, he will miss La Liga games at Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid as well as home games against Malaga and Levante.

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