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Barca dealing with Copa drama

Barcelona
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Refs' chief asks for Pique suspension

Barcelona's red-carded defender Gerard Pique could face further punishment after he claimed his sending-off against Sporting Gijon had been "premeditated" by the referee.

• Ten-man Barca survive scare

Pique was the last man when he tangled with Sporting's Miguel De las Cuevas on the edge of the area and was given his marching orders by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo shortly after half-time in Barca's 3-1 win.

The Spanish international later voiced his disagreement, saying: "At half-time I told the referee it was a penalty on Keita and he kept that [in his head], I have a feeling of premeditation."

And now La Liga's Refereeing Technical Committee has called for the defender to be punished for calling into question Carballo's integrity.

"Pique's comments are unfortunate and very serious," referees' chief Victoriano Arminio told Radio Nacional. "They make your blood boil, sportsmen must respect each other. His comments affect the state of refereeing and we will obviously report him."

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who has previously been fined €1,500 for making derogatory remarks about referees, was booked for protesting during the match but was less controversial in his post-match press conference.

"If he blows for a foul, with Pique the last man, it can be a sending off," said Guardiola. "But I would not be in this line of work if I thought that someone would decide in advance to harm us. Life sets you tests and you have to overcome them. A sending off? Win with ten. An injury for Alexis? Win with nine."

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