Luis Suarez set to appeal two-match ban for insulting Espanyol players
The Spanish football federation has suspended Barcelona striker Luis Suarez for two Copa del Rey matches for insulting Espanyol rivals.
The referee's report for the heated cup match at Camp Nou that ended 4-1 to Barcelona on Wednesday said Suarez insulted Espanyol players in the tunnel after the match. Espanyol had two players sent off in the loss.
Barcelona says in a statement it will appeal the ruling, denying Suarez insulted his opponents.
The return leg is next week at Espanyol, which Suarez will miss as long as his ban is not overturned.
The first game ended in acrimony as tensions boiled over, with 12 yellow cards and two reds dished out over the course of the 90 minutes. Pape Diop and Hernan Perez were sent off for Espanyol.
The official's report stated: “At the end of the game, once in the tunnel, Barça’s No9, Suárez while the Espanyol players were coming up the stairs, waited for them and shouted at them on various occasions.
"He said: ‘I’m waiting for you [Diop], come here! You’re a waste of space’. It provoked a confrontation between players of both clubs and the security guards had to get involved, as did coaches of both teams."
Diop was sent off for foul language, but he insisted that Suarez should have been sent off too.
Catalan newspaper Sport alleges that the referee sent Diop off for telling Suarez “I s*** in your w**** mother”.
“We both insulted each other", Diop said. "He said swear words to me, and me to him, and I get sent off. The referee told me he didn’t hear us both, only me."
“The press have spent all week saying we are violent and this has had its effect. Barcelona are good if you cannot touch them, they can do what they want.
“You cannot say we were violent. There wasn’t any blood – if we had wanted to, the Barcelona players would have gone off on stretchers.”
The incident follows a goalless league match between the two after which Barcelona reported that forward Neymar had been subjected to racial abuse.
La Liga condemned such behaviour but it is not expected that Espanyol will face any action.