Tactical Insights

Barcelona lose appeal over Xavi suspension after Atletico Madrid red card

The Spanish Football Federation have rejected Barcelona’s appeal over the red card shown to Xavi during the victory over Atletico Madrid before the international break.

Xavi was dismissed for “inconsiderate gestures” towards the referee and was issued a two-game ban – the third touchline suspension handed out to him this season.

Barcelona attempted to appeal against the suspension but AS state that Xavi’s ban has been upheld and he will spend the next two La Liga games in the stands.

On the agenda for Barcelona are games against Las Palmas and Cadiz, for which his brother Oscar will once again take charge on the touchline.

Xavi’s ban does not carry over to the Champions League, however, meaning he will be free to take charge of the quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain sandwiched in between.

Xavi Hernandez, Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez

Xavi was sent to the stands / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

It is noted that Barcelona could lodge a higher appeal of the suspension, which would leave him free to manage while their case is heard, but club officials are expected to opt against doing so as, should they fail to get it overturned, a two-game ban would impact the trip Real Madrid on April 21.

As such, Barcelona are now expected to accept the outcome and cope without their manager.

Xavi has confirmed he will step down from his position as Barcelona boss at the end of the season, citing stress and exhaustion from the pressure that comes with leading the club, but many have urged him to stay after the recent upturn in form.

Indeed, Barcelona are unbeaten in their last ten games, seven of which have ended in victory. The Catalan giants find themselves eight points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid and will hope to close that gap when the two sides meet next month.


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