Barcelona center-back, Gerard Pique has been accused of deliberately getting booked in order to avoid a match ban in their next game so as to play in the El Clasico against Real Madrid on October 26.
During Sunday clash in Barca’s 4-0 win against Sevilla, the Spanish defender kicked the ball away and picked up his fifth yellow card of the season which will see get a one-match suspension.
The 32-year-old will now miss Barcelona’s game against Eibar but is free to play against fierce rivals Real Madrid at the Camp Nou a week later.
Spanish outlet Marca reported that Pique’s actions were intentional, with referee Miguel Antonio Mateu Lahoz forced into booking the defender in the 85th minute when Barca were four goals to the good.
Last season, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos was caught up in a similar situation.
The Spanish defender was suspended for two matches by UEFA for receiving a yellow card on purpose last February, in a first-leg win against Ajax in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Ramos later admitted saying: ‘I would be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking],’ but the Spaniard got his just rewards as Real were knocked out of the competition in the second leg without him.