FC Barcelona

Luis Suarez Banned 2 Barcelona Matches After Reported Espanyol Incident

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) round of 16 first leg football match FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 6, 2016.   AFP PHOTO/ PAU BARRENA / AFP / PAU BARRENA        (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
PAU BARRENA/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2016

Barcelona star Luis Suarez was suspended for two matches on Friday for his alleged role in an altercation following Barca's 4-1 win over Espanyol in Wednesday's Copa del Rey tilt.

Sport English first reported the ban and also revealed Barca plan to appeal, as they believe the referee provided an inaccurate report.

According to Agence France-Presse (h/t Sky Sports), match official Juan Martinez Munuera believes Suarez was responsible for a scuffle that occurred while players were leaving the pitch:

Whilst all the Espanyol players climbed the stairs in the tunnel towards the dressing rooms, he (Suarez) waited for them and confronted them saying on various occasions: 'Here I am waiting for you, come here; you are a waste of space.'

That provoked a clash between players from both clubs, forcing security personnel present and the managerial staff from both teams to intervene.

The Uruguay international is no stranger to controversy. He has been suspended on three separate occasions for biting opponents, including an incident involving Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

While the appeals process still has to play out, losing Suarez for any period of time is a major blow to the Blaugrana; the 28-year-old striker has 15 goals in 16 Liga games this season.

Should his suspension be upheld, Suarez will miss what should still be a winnable Liga clash with Granada on Saturday as well as the second leg of the Copa del Rey against Espanyol.

Every match counts for Barcelona, though, as they currently trail Atletico Madrid by two points for first place in the Liga table.

Playing without Suarez would make tracking Atleti down more difficult, but with attacking talent such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta, they have enough to overcome a short-term loss.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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