In Barcelona’s final match before the FIFA World Cup break against CA Osasuna, Robert Lewandowski was sent off just thirty minutes into the contest for two bookable offences.
While that warranted a one-match suspension, the 34-year-old was handed an additional two-game ban for the gesture he made while walking off the pitch, which he claims was meant for manager Xavi, but the referees deemed otherwise.
Indeed, the match official interpreted Lewandowski’s gesture as “attitudes of contempt and inconsideration towards the referees,” leading to the three-match suspension for the Poland captain.
Soon after the sanctions emerged, Barcelona appealed the decision, trying to overturn his three-match ban as well as get his first yellow card of the night erased.
However, the Blaugrana’s appeal was shot down by the Appeals Committee, forcing them to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS).
But according to MARCA, while Barcelona are not prepared to give up on their fight, they are not very optimistic that Lewandowski’s three-match suspension will be overturned by the CAS.
While lodging an appeal to get the ban removed, Barça also asked for an interim injunction to prevent the ban from being applied until the ruling was made, which would allow Lewandowski to play in the derby against RCD Espanyol.
However, as per the report, the officials are not very optimistic about the chances of that happening, which is why manager Xavi is already looking at options beyond his ace goalscorer even though he has a glimmer of hope that Lewandowski becomes available.
As things stand, the 34-year-old, who is the leading goalscorer in La Liga this season, will miss the matches against Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Getafe.
In his absence, Xavi could turn to Memphis Depay, provided he is not shown the exit doors in the January window. The manager also has Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati as options, given that both of them can operate through the middle.