Spain’s administrative court for sports on Wednesday upheld a three-game suspension for Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, taking him out of the Spanish league match against Atlético Madrid on Sunday.
The suspension had been lifted by a court of disputes after an appeal by Barcelona. The Poland striker had been allowed to play in last weekend’s 1-1 league draw against Espanyol.
Espanyol later challenged the result of the derby, saying it was harmed by the unexpected decision by the Madrid court to temporarily lift the suspension.
Lewandowski was sent off for consecutive yellow cards in the league game at Osasuna on Nov. 8. He initially received a one-game suspension, but the Spanish federation competition committee later added two more games to the suspension because of what it called the player’s “show of disrespect” toward the referee following his sending off.
Referee Gil Manzano wrote in his match report that Lewandowski twice pointed at his nose before pointing his thumb at the referee in a gesture that Manzano interpreted as being disrespectful. Lewandowski said the gesture was aimed at his coach and not the referee.
Lewandowski will also miss the league games against Getafe and Girona. He will be able to play in the Spanish Super Cup matches next week.
Barcelona is tied on points with Real Madrid at the top of the league standings after 15 matches.