Barcelona’s appeal of Neymar’s three-match ban has been denied by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
Neymar was sent off with two yellow cards against Malaga earlier in the month, but was later handed an additional two-game suspension after referee Jesus Gil Manzano wrote in his report that the 25-year-old Brazilian had “sarcastically applauded” the fourth official as he exited the pitch.
The RFEF competition committee saw fit to suspend Neymar for two extra games after his original sending off, meaning Neymar would miss the all-important El Clasico with Real Madrid on Sunday.
Coming off their defeat to Juventus in Champions League, Barcelona aren’t completely out of options, and they will take the case to the RFEF’s Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday as their last recourse.
If that fails, they’ll have to take on league leaders Madrid without Neymar, who’s been their best player in the latter half of the season.