Luis Suarez handed two-match ban in Copa del Rey, Barcelona to appeal
Suarez was involved in an altercation with Espanyol players in the tunnel during the Copa del Rey match
FC Barcelona have confirmed on their official website that striker Luis Suarez has been slapped with a two-match suspension for an altercation in the tunnel during their Cop del Rey Round of 16 match against rivals Espanyol on Wednesday. Barcelona ran out comfortable winners with a 4-1 scoreline but Suarez had allegedly yelled at the Espanyol players that sparked a confrontation in a tense affair at the Camp Nou.
The Catalan club have confirmed that they will appeal the ban. If the ban is upheld, Suarez will miss the second leg at Espanyol and possibly the first leg of the quarter-final if Barcelona progress.
The statement on the site said: “FC Barcelona received notification on Friday from the Spanish Football Federation that striker Luis Suárez was to face a two-match suspension for allegedly taking part [in] 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.
“FC Barcelona will immediately proceed to appeal the ban. In the appeal, FC Barcelona is 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.”
What the referee said about Suarez in his report
According to the match referee Juan Martinez Munuera, Suarez was waiting in the tunnel and shouted at the Espanyol players as they were coming up the stairs. Suarez had allegedly yelled: “I’m waiting for you, come here! You’re a waste of space!”
One of the Espanyol players had reportedly retaliated and said: “I'm going to batter you!”
The alleged insults saw players from both clubs confront each other and the coaches and security guards in the tunnel had to pull them apart.
This was the second time in a week the two derby rivals were playing each other and a lot of tension from the 0-0 draw in La Liga had spilt over into the Copa del Rey fixture. The 163rd Catalan derby had seen a total of 33 fouls from both sides.
The Copa del Rey fixture (the 164th meeting between the two sides) also saw a number of players booked. In all, 10 players went into the referee’s book – six from Espanyol and four from Barcelona – including two red cards as Espanyol were reduced to nine men.
Espanyol’s defensive midfielder Papakouly Diop was sent off after insulting Suarez in the 75th minute. The Senegalese player had reportedly told the Uruguayan striker’ “I s*** in your wh*** mother!”