Gerard Pique has been accused of deliberately commiting a foul 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 game where Barcelona defeated Sevila in a 4-0 thriller, the Spanish defender was seen to have 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 subsequently miss Barcelona’s next game against Eibar but will be available to play against bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Camp Nou a week later.
Spanish media outlet Marca reported that the center back defender actions were intentional, with referee Miguel Antonio Mateu Lahoz forced into booking the defender in the 85th minute when Barcelona were four goals to the good.
It was also recalled that 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.