MADRID (AP) Barcelona’s appeal to annul the suspension that will keep Neymar from playing in the clasico against Real Madrid was rejected by the Spanish football federation on Thursday.
The federation appeals committee said it was not overturning the two-game suspension handed to Neymar for sarcastically applauding an assistant referee in Barcelona’s 2-0 loss at Malaga on April 8.
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The two-match ban was in addition to a one-game suspension he was automatically required to serve after being sent off in Malaga.
Neymar served that suspension last weekend as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 3-2.
In addition to the clasico on Sunday, the Brazilian forward will also miss the Spanish league game against last-place Osasuna on April 26.
Barcelona is likely to appeal the committee’s decision to a local sports tribunal.
Barcelona trails Real Madrid by three points with six rounds to go in the league. The two-time defending champion is coming off elimination to Juventus in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.