Barca's Messi given two-game ban for Super Cup red card

Argentine will miss Thursday's Copa del Rey last-32 tie at Cornella and Sunday's La Liga match at Elche


REUTERS January 20, 2021

BARCELONA:

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has escaped a lengthy ban for for llashing out at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villabre in Sunday's Super Cup final defeat and will only serve a two-game suspension.

The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday (Jan 19) that Messi had been banned for two matches, meaning he will miss Thursday's Copa del Rey last-32 tie at Cornella and Sunday's La Liga match at Elche. He is set to return to face Bilbao in the league on Jan 29.

Barca said they will appeal the ban.

The Argentine was sent off at the end of extra time in the Super Cup final, which Barca lost 3-2, for striking Villalibre in the face.

He would have faced a sanction ranging from four to 12 matches had the RFEF'S competition committee described the incident as aggression but it was instead reported as "violence during play", which is punished with a two to three game ban.

It was the first time in 754 matches that Messi had been sent off for Barcelona.

He has received two red cards while playing for Argentina, including on his debut back in 2005.

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