Champions League news

Barca to fight Iniesta punishment

April 19, 2011

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta should find out on Wednesday if he is to be punished by UEFA for allegedly getting deliberately booked during his side's recent Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were both punished for deliberate red cards earlier in the season
GettyImagesXabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were both punished for deliberate red cards earlier in the season

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UEFA's disciplinary committee will meet to rule on the cases of both Iniesta and Villarreal duo Nilmar and Santi Cazorla for "improper conduct'' in their respective European matches earlier this month.

Iniesta was cautioned in the first leg of Barca's quarter-final against Shakhtar and that meant he was suspended for the return meeting in Ukraine.

Barca won the tie 6-1 on aggregate and will now play Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with Spain international Iniesta facing the possibility of missing the first leg if found guilty by UEFA and handed an additional ban.

Barcelona announced in a statement they had appealed against a proposed suspension, saying: "The proposed sanction comes as a result of a report from UEFA match officials at the game, who have alleged that the yellow card was deliberately incurred so that the player would be suspended for the return leg.

"Barcelona believe that the arguments outlined in their appeal, based on the good faith of the player and the disproportionate nature of the proposed sanction will be sufficient to rebut these allegations.''

Nilmar and Cazorla, meanwhile, were both booked late on in their Europa League quarter-final first leg against FC Twente, which Villarreal won 5-1. Both players were subsequently banned for the second leg, which the Yellow Submarine won 3-1 to set up a semi-final meeting with Porto.