Barcelona disgruntled by four-game embargo on defender

The Blaugrana defender was sent off in the Clasico for punching Marcelo, and the Competition Committee has now handed him a four-game ban, something that roughed the club wrong way

Barcelona isn’t happy with the decision of the La Liga committee. It was announced yesterday that Sergi Roberto will be banned for four games for a violent conduct on Marcelo during the El Clasico on Sunday. The embargo ends the 26-year old’s season prematurely, as he would also have to sit out of games against Levante and Real Sociedad, having already missed last night’s 5-1 demolition of Villarreal.

The ban then extends to the Spanish Supercup in August, where he’ll sit out of the first-leg to Sevilla as well. The decision has caused a furor in Barcelona, who feel it’s too harsh. The club went on to appeal the verdict but saw it rejected by the committee. Referee Hernandez Hernandez reported the incident in his post-match report, citing “hitting an opponent with his arm, with the use of excessive force, the ball not being at a distance to be played”. The match official was quick to pull out a red during the game, leaving Barcelona a man down for the second-half.

Roberto has been charged with violation of article 98.1 of the RFEF’s discplinary code, according to the Competition Committee, that states: “Assaulting another, without causing injury, pondering as a determining factor the malicious element, the circumstance in which the action takes place, when the game is stopped or at a distance from where it develops that makes it impossible to intervene, will be sanctioned with suspension of four to twelve games, with an accessory fine in the amount of 1,400 euros for the club and of 3,005 euros to the player, in application of article 52.3 and 52.4 of the same text.”

Barcelona’s first plea against the decision has already been turned down, but they still have two more chances to reverse it. They have also submitted a statement of allegations made against the player, so as to reduce the penalty.

Author’s Take

If he’s found guilty, then Barcelona shouldn’t sulk. Ronaldo was handed a similar embargo when he shoved the referee during the first-leg of the Spanish Supercup last year, while their own Pique was a subject of a lengthy ban for hurling expletives at the linesman in 2016. If a player if convicted for misconduct on the field, physically or verbally, is subject to punishment.

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