Atletico Madrid have appealed the three-match ban handed to Filipe Luis after the defender was sent off for a crude challenge on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.
The left-back was sent off in Atletico’s 2-1 defeat to Barca on Saturday after a high, mistimed tackle on the stroke of half-time left Messi on the floor and the home bench enraged.
Barca coach Luis Enrique described the challenge as “shocking” and the Spanish Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee settled on a three-game suspension due to the “gravity of the action”.
Atleti, who also had Diego Godin sent off for picking up two yellow cards, responded on Wednesday to confirm their appeal, with sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero claiming the punishment was not in line with previous cases.
“Similar actions should be judged equally and have the same punishment,” he said in a statement on the club’s website.
“It cannot be that an identical action that is written in the referee’s report can be punished with one game in one case and then ours is punishable by three games for Filipe.
“Filipe Luis is a player with excellent records, as opposed to a violent player, an athlete. He went to challenge a 50-50 ball, touched the ball then later hit the opponent without being able to stop.
“Everyone who has played football knows that there is no misconduct here and this cannot be judged differently. Three games should serve to punish other actions, not this.”
If the ban stands, Atleti head coach Diego Simeone will be without his first-choice left-back for La Liga games against Eibar, Getafe and Villarreal. The former Chelsea defender would be available for the derby against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 27.