Whistling Pinto handed ban

Barcelona keeper Jose Pinto has been handed a two-game European ban after being found guilty of gross unsporting conduct against FC Copenhagen.

The Danish club reported the 34-year-old to UEFA alleging he imitated referee Stephane Lannoy’s whistle during Barca’s 2-0 Champions League win at the Nou Camp on October 20 in a bid to trick striker Cesar Santin into thinking he was offside.

European football’s governing body have agreed Pinto’s actions were worthy of punishment and issued the player with a two-match ban.

A statement read: "FC Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto has been suspended for two UEFA club competition matches by the UEFA control and disciplinary body.

"Pinto was found guilty of gross unsporting conduct. The control and disciplinary body considered that he whistled to stop a promising attack from striker Cesar Santin in the UEFA Champions League Group D match against FC Copenhagen at Camp Nou on October 20.

"He will miss the Spanish side’s next two UEFA Champions League group stage games, against Copenhagen in Denmark next Tuesday, and against Panathinaikos in Greece on November 24.

"An appeal may be lodged against the ruling within three days of the dispatch of the reasoning for the decision."

Barca’s first-choice goalkeeper Victor Valdes had been ruled out of the clash due to illness.