Brazilian defender Filipe Luis has been suspended three games for a dangerous foul on Lionel Messi in Atletico Madrid’s game against Barcelona last weekend.
Luis earned a straight red card for sticking his studs into Messi’s knee while going for a ball just before halftime in Barcelona’s 2-1 win at the Camp Nou.
Atleti, which also had Diego Godin sent off for picking up two yellow cards, responded on Wednesday to confirm the appeal, with sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero claiming the punishment was not in line with previous cases.
"Similar actions should be judged equally and have the same punishment," he said in a statement on the club’s website. "It cannot be that an identical action that is written in the referee’s report can be punished with one game in one case and then ours is punishable by three games for Filipe.
"Filipe Luis is a player with excellent records, as opposed to a violent player, an athlete. He went to challenge a 50-50 ball, touched the ball then later hit the opponent without being able to stop. Everyone who has played football knows that there is no misconduct here and this cannot be judged differently. Three games should serve to punish other actions, not this."
Atletico Madrid said it will appeal the suspension, saying it was too harsh.
The club said in a statement on Wednesday that other players who have committed similar fouls in the past were only suspended one match.
It added that Luis has never been a violent player and did not intend to harm Messi on the play. It contends the Brazilian was not able to avoid contact with the Argentine player while going for the ball.
Information from Goal.com was also used in this report.