x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Barcelona to appeal if Iniesta gets Champions League suspension

The Barcelona midfielder should find out tomorrow if he is to be punished by Uefa for allegedly getting deliberately booked against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Andres Iniesta, the Barcelona midfielder, should find out tomorrow if he is to be punished by Uefa for allegedly getting deliberately booked during the first-leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Uefa’s disciplinary committee will meet tomorrow to rule on the cases of both Iniesta and the Villarreal duo Nilmar and Santi Cazorla for “improper conduct” in their respective European matches earlier this month.

Iniesta was cautioned in the first-leg, in which Barca won 5-1, and that meant he was suspended for the return meeting in Ukraine.

Barca won the tie 6-1 on aggregate and will now play Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with the Spain international Iniesta facing the possibility of missing the first-leg if found guilty by Uefa and handed an additional ban.

Barcelona announced in a statement they had appealed against a proposed suspension, saying: “The proposed sanction comes as a result of a report from Uefa match officials at the game, who have alleged that the yellow card was deliberately incurred so that the player would be suspended for the return leg.

“Barcelona believe that the arguments outlined in their appeal, based on the good faith of the player and the disproportionate nature of the proposed sanction will be sufficient to rebut these allegations.”

Nilmar and Cazorla, meanwhile, were both booked late on in their Europa League quarter-final first-leg against FC Twente, which Villarreal won 5-1. Both players were subsequently banned for the second-leg, which the Yellow Submarine won 3-1 to set up a semi-final meeting with Porto.