Pique red card appeal rejected

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) have rejected an appeal from Barcelona and given defender Gerard Pique a one-match ban for his red card in last weekend's 3-1 La Liga win over Sporting Gijon.

The RFEF have also given Barca five days to present their case in the face of a formal complaint from the head of the referee's technical committee, over comments made by Pique after Saturday's victory at the Nou Camp.

The Spain international was sent off in the 46th minute, referee Carlos Velasco Caballero showing him a straight red card after he was ruled to have brought down Miguel de las Cuevas on the edge of the Barca area.

Television replays suggested it had been a harsh decision.

After the match, Pique was quoted as saying in local media that the referee's decision looked to have been pre-meditated.

Pique will miss Barca's trip to play struggling Racing Santander in La Liga on Sunday.