Barcelona are set to be without key versatile player Sergi Roberto for the rest of the 2017/18 season and even the start of 2018/19 after he was handed a four-game suspension following dismissal in El Clasico.
Roberto saw red on the stroke of half-time as referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez saw an off the ball altercation with Real Madrid full-back Marcelo.
The midfielder was judged to have hit out at the Brazilian, and AS say that the Competition Committee of the RFEF (Spanish Football Association) have decided that Roberto will serve a four-game ban as punishment.
That will see Roberto suspended for all three remaining fixtures this season, up against Villarreal, Levante, and Real Sociedad, as well as the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla in August. Barcelona also faces a 1,400 euro fine whilst Roberto himself must pay 3,005 euros.
AS also report that Barcelona are considering an appeal to reduce the suspension down from four games so that Roberto could, at least, take part in the Super Cup at the start of 2018/19.
Many were enraged by the decision and pointed to the similarities of an incident involving Getafe’s Damian Suarez, lashing out at a Girona player off the ball at a corner. Coincidentally, it was Hernandez Hernandez in charge for that game who also sent off Suarez, yet the Getafe man was only given a one match suspension.
The difference lies in that Roberto was charged with being in conflict with article 98.1 of the rules, whereas Suarez reportedly broke article 123.1, according to MARCA, with the differentiating factor being that 98.1 implies aggression and a greater intent to cause harm.