Barcelona Fights for Xavi’s Availability Amidst Red Card Controversy

Xavi receiving a yellow card vs. Atletico Madrid / Getty Images
Xavi receiving a yellow card vs. Atletico Madrid / Getty Images

Barcelona is contesting Xavi Hernández’s red card in hopes of reducing it to a yellow.

The Competition Committee will announce this Wednesday the corresponding sanctions for matchday 29 of the 2023-24 La Liga season. FC Barcelona has already filed an appeal aiming for Xavi Hernández’s red card, received during Sunday’s match against Atlético (0-3) at the Metropolitano, to be reduced to at most a yellow card; as he had received a yellow just a minute prior, this would result in a one-match suspension, according to Javier Gascon of Mundo Deportivo.

However, if this is not possible and he is penalized with two matches, the club has prepared arguments to prevent a third match penalty for being a repeat offense, with the risk of missing the Clásico, though there are precedents suggesting he may be able to be on the bench against Real Madrid. There is speculation about a possible three-match suspension, two for the red card and one for being a repeat offender. However, Barcelona would cite precedents where the repeat offender penalty was not applied, such as with Girona coach Michel, who received two direct red cards last season (2022-23) against Betis and Barça and was always penalized with two matches, and other coaches like Luis García Plaza or Francisco were also not penalized with a third match for being repeat offenders. Barcelona faces UD Las Palmas and Cádiz before the Clásico against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu.

The club wants Xavi to be available for all three matches, but if he is given a two-match suspension, the goal is to maintain consistency and not consider him a repeat offender. The first yellow card was for dissent after a foul on Robert Lewandowski. The red card came a minute later and, according to the referee’s report, was issued for “making technical comments loudly, making disrespectful gestures, and having been previously warned by the fourth official.”