Barcelona to appeal Pique red card

Barcelona will appeal against the red card shown to Gerard Pique in Saturday's La Liga match against Sporting Gijon, a club spokesman said on Monday.

Pique was shown what appeared from television replays to be a harsh straight red early in the second half of the 3-1 win at the Nou Camp when he tangled with Gijon's Miguel de las Cuevas on the edge of the Barca penalty area.

The Spain international was quoted as saying in local media that the referee's decision looked to have been pre-meditated, comments condemned by the head of the referees' technical committee, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, who said he would be making a formal complaint.

Toni Freixa, spokesman for Barca's board of directors, told a news conference the club had "not been having much luck" with refereeing decisions this season.

They had also written to the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) to ask under what circumstances the head of the referees committee is able to make formal complaints to the federation's disciplinary committee.

Sanchez Arminio's comments, made to Spanish radio and television broadcasters, were "an opportunistic show for the benefit of the media that provoke discriminatory treatment in a top-level competition," Freixa said.

The world, European and Spanish champions had also decided not to attend Tuesday's football federation (RFEF) general assembly, he added.

The club are upset that their request to stage May's King's Cup final at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium, supported by their opponents Athletic Bilbao, has not been granted.

Real have said the arena, Spain's second biggest after the Nou Camp, is unavailable because of planned building work.