Madrid, April 12 (IANS) FC Barcelona will be without their star player Neymar for the Classico away to Real Madrid on April 23 after the Brazilian was given a three-game ban by the disciplinary committee of the Spanish Football Federation.
Neymar was sent off for two yellow cards in Barca’s 0-2 defeat to Malaga on Sunday and sarcastically applauded the fourth official, reports Xinhua news agency.
In its Tuesday meeting, the disciplinary committee decided to sanction the Brazilian with one game for the two yellow cards and to add two more games for the applause, which they consider to be “directing oneself to the referee … with a disrespectful attitude”.
That means Neymar will be missing this Saturday’s Liga Santander at home to Real Sociedad, the Classico the following week and the midweek fixture at home to Osasuna on April 26th.
Barcelona can appeal, but even if the ban was reduced to two matches, Neymar would still miss out on a game his side need to win to have any chance of winning this season’s title.