Barcelona lose Gerard Pique yellow card appeal, Luis Suarez successful
Barcelona's appeal to overturn the booking shown to Gerard Pique against Leganes has been rejected and the defender will miss Sunday's top-of-the-table La Liga clash against Valencia.
After reviewing the video footage put forward by the Catalan club, the Royal Spanish Football Federation's competition committee decided to stick with the original ruling made by referee Undiano Mallenco.
Pique was cautioned for grappling with Nordin Amrabat and Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said after his side's 3-0 victory that he felt the decision was "excessive" and could quite easily have gone the other way.
However, Barca striker Luis Suarez has had his yellow card from the same game revoked after the competition committee agreed that his tangle with goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar was not worthy of a booking.
Pique will now miss this weekend's trip to unbeaten Valencia, who are second in La Liga, four points back from early pacesetters Barca.
With Javier Mascherano also missing for the game at Mestalla, Valverde is left with just Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen as his only available central defenders.
Vermaelen has played just once for the club this season, the Copa del Rey win against Real Murcia, but has been a regular for Belgium, and Valverde feels he is ready to step into the side if needed.
"I try not to worry about things before I need to," Valverde told reporters before Wednesday's Champions League game against Juventus. "Yes, Pique is suspended for Valencia but [against Juve] we have three centre-backs and the next game is always the most important.
"But I think we are well covered. Vermaelen has just come back from playing two games with Belgium and I think he's ready to play."
Meanwhile, Valencia coach Marcelino will be missing from the touchline when his side welcome Barca on Sunday.
Marcelino was sent off for protesting during Sunday's 2-0 win over Espanyol and will be banned from the dugout for the next two games after Valencia's appeal against his dismissal was turned down on Wednesday.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.