Barcelona appeal two-match ban for Vilanova
Barcelona say they will appeal a two-match ban slapped on coach Tito Vilanova on Wednesday, after he was sent from the dugout for crying foul during their weekend win over Osasuna.
Spain's football federation (RFEF) punished the Barca coach for protesting vehemently with the referee during their 2-1 win over 10-man Osasuna on Sunday, a victory ensured by a late Lionel Messi brace.
When Vilanova was dismissed, he was shown on television looking in disbelief at the referee, Muniz Fernandez, and apparently asking: "Why, for calling a foul?"
"FC Barcelona?s legal services will appeal Tito Vilanova's two-match ban imposed by the Spanish Football Federation?s competition committee," the club said in a statement.
"It's worth noting that FC Barcelona contested the allegations made in Muniz Fernandez?s post-match report, where the referee stated that the FC Barcelona manager was ejected for 'angrily protesting a play of the match, after he had been warned by the assistant referee'," the club said.
The federation said Vilanova's offence was minor, however, and he will be allowed to sit on the bench for Wednesday's Super Cup second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, into which Barca take a 3-2 lead.
Real Madrid said they will appeal, too, after their Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao was slapped with an even harsher ban.
Coentrao was banned for four matches for throwing an insult at the referee from the sidelines while he was on the bench during Madrid's shock 2-1 defeat at Getafe on Sunday.
The RFEF classed Coentrao's offence as "serious" and as a result he will miss the Super Cup return against Barcelona.
"Real Madrid F.C. will present an appeal against the ruling by the Royal Spanish Football Federation's Competition Committee imposing a ban on our player Fabio Coentrao for four matches," they said in a statement.
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