Barca's Pique hit with four-match ban for outburst on referee
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique will miss the start of the Primera Division season after being banned for four matches for his outburst in the Spanish Super Cup second leg final.
Pique was shown a straight red after clashing with a linesman during Barca's encounter against Athletic Bilbao which finished 1-1, with Athletic winning the first title of the new campaign 5-1 on aggregate.
The centre-half apologised for his dissent afterwards although he denied insulting the linesman.
But the Disciplinary Committee of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has taken a dim view of the incident.
A statement from Barcelona read: "The verdict of the Competition Judge, in application of article 94 of the RFEF's Disciplinary Code, was announced on Wednesday morning and it is not good news for Gerard Pique.
"The central defender has been suspended for four games following his red card in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup."
Barca will be without Pique for their 2015-16 La Liga opener at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening and the 28-year-old will also miss the games against Malaga, Atletico Madrid and Levante.
Pique earlier expressed his remorse for his conduct but refuted suggestions he had insulted the linesman.
Referee Velasco Carballo's official report stated that the player used foul and abusive language when shouting at the assistant.
"I want to apologise in the manner in which I protested towards the linesman, it was not correct," Pique wrote on his Twitter account. "It was a game with a lot of pressure in which we were playing for a title.
"However, at no time did I insult him."