Luis Suarez gets two-match ban after Espanyol clash

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez has been given a two-game ban after being reported by a referee for inciting opposing players.

The charge relates to an incident following the 4-1 victory over Espanyol in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Barcelona have confirmed the player is alleged to have taken part in an altercation in the tunnel.

The club will appeal against the suspension, which would prevent Suarez from playing in the next leg of the last-16 clash against Espanyol and the quarter-final, should they progress.

Barcelona have stated the player did not use the offensive words which have been attributed to him in the referee’s report of the match.

A statement on their website said: “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.”

Suarez is no stranger to suspensions having been banned three times in the past for biting opponents.

Speaking in his weekly Q&A, Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague said: “What happened in the Espanyol derby is a consequence of verbal and physical exchanges in the league game, which were carried on in the cup.

“Barcelona players teased Espanyol ones with things like, ‘I have won five cups, what have you won’ or ‘you are a terrible team’.

“Pau, the Espanyol goalkeeper, stepped on Messi and should have apologised. [Gerard] Pique, even though he was insulted gravely by Espanyol fans, had no need to laugh at the minority that are the local rivals, who feel victim of the impression in Catalonia that the only real way to be a Catalan is being a Barcelona fan.

“Espanyol played to the limits of the rule book, using their weapons including some crisp counters. Barcelona players and Luis Enrique have not complained publicly about that approach, don’t forget that.”