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Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman banned for two key La Liga games, Messi's club to appeal

FOOTBALL By Reuters | May 1st 2021
Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Granada - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - April 29, 2021. Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected after Granada's Jorge Molina scored their second goal. [REUTERS/Albert Gea]

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been hit with a two-game ban by the Spanish FA (RFEF) after being shown a red card in Thursday's shock 2-1 defeat at home to Granada and will miss the visit of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid next Saturday.

The Dutchman's suspension starts with Sunday's trip to his former club Valencia as Barca look to bounce back from the shock 2-1 defeat by Granada which means the Catalans no longer have the destiny of the title in their own hands.

Koeman was dismissed in the aftermath of Darwin Machis's 63rd minute equaliser for Granada at the Nou Camp.

In his post-game report the referee said the Barca coach, having already been warned about his conduct, spoke degradingly to the fourth official, shouting "What a character" at him.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman during the match. [REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo]

The suspension, handed down by the RFEF Competition Committee, comes under the umbrella of "acts of disparagement or thoughtlessness towards referees, directors or sporting authorities," for which two games is the standard punishment.

Barcelona announced later on Friday that they would appeal against Koeman's suspension.

Barca sit third in the table on 71 points, two behind leaders Atletico and with the same points as Real Madrid, who they trail due to their inferior head-to-head record.

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