Barcelona will be without star striker Robert Lewandowski for three crucial fixtures when they return from the World Cup, after the Polish striker was hit with a three-game ban by the Spanish authorities.
Lewandowski was shown two yellows against Osasuna in Barcelona’s final match before the break for the World Cup. As he walked off the pitch, Lewandowski was seen rubbing his nose with his index finger and then pointing back at the referee as he walked off.
In the referee’s report, this was recorded as multiple gestures of disapproval towards the referee, while many have pointed out that the gesture means arrogant in Germany. Lewandowski himself has since denied that he was doing anything of the sort, saying that the gestures were directed towards manager Xavi Hernandez.
He will miss matches against Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Real Betis as a result, meaning a tricky run lies ahead for Barcelona.
The controversy in Spain will no doubt surround the treatment of Lewandowski compared to his counterparts at Real Madrid. Their players, and in particular manager Carlo Ancelotti, have cast doubt on referees vociferously in recent weeks, but so far have escaped punishment.
Barcelona will appeal the decision to hand Robert Lewandowski a three-game ban for his sending-off against Osasuna.
Barça are angry with the treatment the Polish striker has received. They feel his behaviour on the pitch is exemplary and that the referee was not correct to claim his gesture was showing a lack of respect in his report.
Lewandowski has been handed a one-game ban for the two yellow card and a two-game ban for the gesture.
The Catalan club will attempt to overturn the two-game suspension for the gesture. It’s less likely they will be able to appeal the two yellows.
Lewandowski says the gesture was meant for Xavi and Barça feel the images should help them reduce the ban.