Barcelona to appeal Iniesta suspension

MADRID - Barcelona have decided to appeal UEFA's proposal to ban Andres Iniesta for one Champions League match for deliberately collecting a yellow card.

The Spain midfielder was cautioned in the first leg of Barca's quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk, which the Spanish club won 5-1, for not retreating the required distance at a freekick, meaning he missed the return game in Ukraine.

UEFA officials at the match alleged Iniesta provoked the card so he could serve the standard one-match ban in the second leg and would have a clean slate for the semi-finals.

If the ban stands, Iniesta will miss the first leg of Barca's Champions League semi-final against La Liga rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on April 27.

"FC Barcelona believe that the arguments outlined in their appeal, based on the good faith of the player and the disproportionate nature of the proposed sanction will be sufficient to rebut these allegations," the club said on their website.

"The UEFA disciplinary committee will make a decision on the case on Wednesday," they added.

At a news conference on Tuesday, coach Pep Guardiola denied Iniesta had deliberately gotten himself booked.

"We will wait for UEFA's decision but if we had provoked the card we would have immediately substituted him but he played on despite the risk of his dismissal," Guardiola said.