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Barcelona's Neymar banned for El Clasico against Real Madrid after being hit with a three game ban

Neymar was shown the first red card of his Barcelona career for two bookable offences as Barca`s title suffered a big blow in a 2-0 defeat at Malaga on Saturday.

Barcelona's Neymar banned for El Clasico against Real Madrid after being hit with a three game ban

New Delhi: Barcelona`s Brazilian superstar Neymar has been ruled out of La Liga clash at Real Madrid on April 23 after being handed a three-game suspension, the Spanish federation said on Tuesday.

Neymar was shown the first red card of his Barcelona career for two bookable offences as Barca`s title suffered a big blow in a 2-0 defeat at Malaga on Saturday.

However, he was handed an extra two-match suspension on top of the automatic one-game ban for sarcastically applauding the officials as he left the pitch.

The sending-off meant Neymar will be suspended for the next match against Real Sociedad, but his added dose of bad attitude could earn him an extended suspension, putting in danger his availability for the match at Madrid on April 23 that will go a long way to deciding the domestic title.

Referee Gil Manzano included Neymar's sarcastic applause in his report to the Spanish federation's competition committee, which decided to added a one-game ban, meaning he will be unavailable for the April 23 El Clasico clash.

The front page of Barcelona-based sports daily Sport on Sunday summed up the incredulity of Barcelona's supporters by splashing the headline "UNFORGIVABLE" over a photo of Manzano showing Neymar his well-deserved red card.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique tried to deflect criticism of Neymar by pointing at Manzano's decisions.

"There were nasty tackles from behind that didn't earn bookings, while other fouls committed by us were," Luis Enrique said. "The rules are to be interpreted, but they should be the same for all."

Excuses aside, what a month is has been for the Brazil striker. His two goals and last-gasp pass for the winner in the dying minutes of Barcelona's historic 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on March 8 earned him praise.

The result sent Barcelona through 6-5 on aggregate, making it the first team to overturn a 4-0 first-leg loss in the competition.

But now, his side will have to secure a victory without him, if they are to keep themselves in title hunt.

Barcelona are expected to appeal the decision.

As well as missing a potential La Liga title decider at the Bernabeu, Neymar will be absent for home games against Real Sociedad and Osasuna.

Madrid lead Barca by three points at the top of the table but also have a game in hand as they close on a first league title in five years.

Neymar was booked in the first half at La Rosaleda for delaying a Malaga free-kick by tying his shoelaces in front of the ball and then charged into Roberto Rosales 25 minutes from time to see his second yellow card.

"I think the interpretation of the yellow cards is special," said Barcelona boss Luis Enrique after the game.

"We have to be very careful in some games because there were some ugly challenges from behind that went unpunished and tying boots was."

It is not the first time in recent weeks Neymar`s attention to detail with his boots caught the eye.

He changed his footwear whilst play was ongoing in Barca`s two previous games against Granada and Sevilla, leaving his side temporarily down to 10 men.

Neymar has a highly lucrative long-term sponsorship deal with Nike with suggestions his antics may be to ensure his boots get extra time on camera.

(With agency inputs)

From Zee News

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