Barcelona's Gerard Pique might face 12-match ban for foul-mouthed rant at referee
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique might face a ban of up to 12 games for his foul-mouthed rant at the assistant referee during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou against Athletic Bilbao who won the Spanish Super Copa 5-1 on aggregate, the Telegraph reported. The Spaniard was shown a straight red by the match referee in the 55th minute for his confrontation with match officials.
Any hopes of the Catalan club’s comeback in the tie were dashed by the sending off of the Spanish defender early in the second half. In the harsh aftermath of the match, the loss might be the least of the club’s problems as they could lose the crucial defender for a long spell.
Pique was seen lambasting assistant referee Oscar De Marcos over a controversial offside decision for which he saw red. In his match notes, the match official Velasco Carballo made a note that read: “In the 55th minute, the player (3) Piqué Bernabéu, Gerard was sent off for the following reason: screaming at the assistant referee: ‘I s--- on your whore mother.”
The defender will almost surely miss the La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao, and although the 12-match ban is highly unlikely, he could still face a 5-match spell on the sidelines. The decision will be made by an RFEF Competition Committee representative Francisco Rubio.
Luis Enrique’s reaction
After the loss to Bilbao, Luis Enrique was quizzed about Pique’s reaction. He didn’t directly address the issue but chose to speak more about the impact of the loss on his team.
“In my opinion Bilbao played a great first leg and they are worthy champions," Enrique said.
"You have to know how to win and lose. It is good to lose sometimes to help you understand how hard and rewarding it is to win.
“The final ended when Gerard Pique was sent off. We remain a united group and we are certainly competitive.”
The Blaugrana defence has come under fire in pre-season for their lackadaisical approach to the task. They have Jeremy Mathieu, Thomas Vermaelen, Marc Bartra and Javier Mascherano as top candidates to step in, nonetheless, the unit will be weakened by Pique’s suspension.
Moreover, they will have to be flexible in the full-back positions as well having only one first choice option on both sides in Dani Alves and Jordi Alba. So far in pre-season, neither Adriano, not converted midfielder Sergi Roberto have shown much promise in either position.