Barcelona to appeal Suarez’s two-match suspension

Barcelona, Jan 8 (IANS) FC Barcelona on Friday said they will appeal Luis Suarez’s two-match suspension the forward received for his alleged role in a tunnel incident after the Catalan football club’s win over local rivals Espanyol in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

After the final whistle, a scuffle between the two teams occurred in the tunnel where, according to referee Martinez Munuera’s report, the former Liverpool player taunted his opponents.

“FC Barcelona received notification on Friday from the Spanish Football Federation that striker Luis Suárez was to face a two-match suspension for taking part incidents between players from Barça and Espanyol in the tunnel leading to the dressing rooms following Wednesday’s Copa del Rey last 16 first leg at Camp Nou, Barcelona said in a statement.

“FC Barcelona will immediately proceed to appeal the ban. If the sanction holds up, Suárez would miss the return leg next Wednesday and a hypothetical first leg of the quarter-finals, should Barça qualify,” the statement added.

“In the appeal, FC Barcelona are expected to argue that the player, as he later stated, did not use the allegedly offensive words that were attributed to him in the referee’s official notes following the match.”

The first leg also saw other flashpoints including Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez appearing to stand on Lionel Messi’s ankle, although the youngster has denied any malicious intent.

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