Barcelona’s Luis Suarez Facing Copa Del Rey Ban After ‘sparking Tunnel Brawl’


Barcelona striker Luis Suarez faces a Copa del Rey ban after being accused by the referee of provoking Espanyol players following a heated Catalan derby.

Barca came from behind to claim a 4-1 win in the first leg of Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey last-16 tie but the game proved a feisty affair as Espanyol had two players sent off and were lucky to escape further punishment as goalkeeper Pau Lopez appeared to stamp on Lionel Messi.

Suarez was also booked for a clash with Lopez but could yet receive a ban of up to three cup matches for sparking a clash in the tunnel that the referee, writing in his post-match report, claimed security personnel had to break up.

“Whilst all the Espanyol players climbed the stairs in the tunnel towards the dressing rooms, he (Suarez) waited for them and confronted them saying on various occasions: ‘Here I am waiting for you, come here; you are a waste of space’,” referee Juan Martinez Munuera noted in his report.

“That provoked a clash between players from both clubs forcing security personnel present and the managerial staff from both teams to intervene.”

Espanyol’s physical approach had frustrated Barca in an equally fiery clash between the two in La Liga on Saturday which finished 0-0.

“The referees are the ones to set the limits,” Enrique said.

Any Suarez ban would be his first since the four-month suspension he received for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini while playing for Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup.