Neymar is set to miss the upcoming El Clasico encounter after receiving an additional 2-game ban.
The Brazilian sensation was sent off in Barca’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Malaga, after he picked up two yellow cards – first for obstructing a free-kick, and the second for a late challenge on Roberto Rosales. This was Neymar’s first red card since he arrived at the La Liga club four years ago, and he also became the first Barcelona player to get sent off since October 2015.
Barca boss Luis Enrique did question these bookings after the game, by stating: “We have to take a lot of care in these types of games because I think there were ugly challenges from behind which clearly deserved bookings; other things such as tying your boots.
“If we book players for this, we have to book players for everything. It’s curious that a team like us that doesn’t usually kick people get so many yellow cards in such an incomprehensible manner. Then there are players on the other team that during the game commit fouls and don’t get any cards. It’s curious, but we’re used to it.”
Neymar was initially on the verge of missing one match due to the sending off, but the ban has now been officially extended.
Referee Jesus Gil Manzano, who officiated the Malaga vs Barcelona game, wrote in his post-match report that Neymar had “sarcastically applauded” the fourth official as he left the pitch.
And the 24-year-old’s behaviour has now been punished by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, as the RFEF competition committee have deemed the player’s actions worthy of an additional 2-game ban.
Neymar will now be unavailable for Barcelona’s next three league games against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid and Osasuna.
However, according to some reports, the Catalan giants will surely make an appeal against the decision, in the hope of getting the ban reduced and having their star man available for the crucial El Clasico.