Koeman touchline ban upheld, will miss Atletico game

The La Liga has rejected Barcelona's appeal against Ronald Koeman's touchline ban. The Dutch manager will not be allowed on the touchline for Saturday's clash against Atletico Madrid.

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman was sent off in his Barca's 2-1 home defeat by Granada on April 29 for saying "what a character" to the fourth official after being warned about his conduct.   -  REUTERS

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman will be absent from the touchline for Saturday's crunch game at home to La Liga leader Atletico Madrid after the La Liga rejected the club's appeal against a touchline ban, on Wednesday.

Koeman was sent off in his side's 2-1 home defeat by Granada on April 29 for saying "what a character" to the fourth official after being warned about his conduct.

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He was given an automatic one-game ban which was then extended to two matches by the Spanish football federation's competition committee.

A statement by the competition committee said Koeman had been suspended for violating article 117 of the disciplinary code, which is described as 'showing an attitude of disrespect towards referees, directors or sporting authorities'.

The Dutchman was absent for Sunday's 3-2 win at Valencia which kept his side two points behind Atletico and will also miss the game against the leader at the Camp Nou. His assistant Alfred Schreuder is set to take charge of the team again.

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Barca is third in the standings on 74 points with four games remaining and will leapfrog Atletico if it wins on Saturday. Real Madrid, in second on 74 points due to its superior head-to-head record, hosts fourth-placed Sevilla on Sunday.

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