Neymar at risk of missing El Clasico after sarcastic reaction to getting sent off

As if Barcelona’s 2-0 loss at Malaga wasn’t a bitter enough pill to swallow, there might be more bad news yet to come for the La Liga giants.

Neymar, who was sent off for two bookable offenses in the loss, could be slapped with further punishment following his reaction to the decision. The 25-year-old was spotted sarcastically clapping in the direction of the fourth official as he made his way to the tunnel. Unfortunately for him, referee Jesus Gil Manzano saw the petulant act and included it in his official match report.

“In the 65th minute player (number 11) Da Silva Santos J, Neymar was sent off for the following reason: second yellow,” Manzano wrote, via AS. “After being sent off and when he was heading towards the tunnel to the dressing rooms, he applauded the fourth official.”

The first Barcelona player to be sent off in 59 games, Neymar stands to miss Barcelona’s next La Liga match vs. Real Sociedad for his two yellow cards either way. But his clapping and jawing at the fourth official could see further repercussions.

Under Article 117 of the Spain Football Federation’s Disciplinary Code, players that disparage referees shall be sanctioned with a two-to-three match ban. That would mean Neymar missing out Barcelona’s most important remaining league match, El Clasico at Real Madrid on April 23.

It would be harsh to miss such an important match, but the evidence is right there. Will Neymar’s insubordination come back to bite Barcelona? We’ll have to wait and see what the authorities have to say.