Neymar will miss Barcelona’s crucial Clasico against Real Madrid after the club lost patience with an appeal with the Spanish Sports Tribunal (TAD) over his suspension.
The Brazil star was shown a red card in Barca’s 2-0 defeat at Malaga and earned an additional two-match ban for sarcastically applauding an assistant referee on his way down the tunnel.
Neymar served his automatic ban in Barca’s 3-2 win over Real Sociedad, but the club appealed against the additional punishment to the Spanish Football Federation before escalating the issue once that appeal was rejected.
But with uncertainty over TAD’s decision on the ruling, Barca have opted to take matters into their own hands, and hit out at the body for failing to deal with the situation.
“Against the uncertainty due to the lack of reply from TAD with 12 hours to go until the game, and to focus all attention on sporting matters, the club have opted not to call up Neymar,” a Barca statement read.
“However, Barcelona expresses its amazement at TAD’s refusal to exercise its jurisdictional functions, something which directly damages both the clubs and the competition itself.”
It marks a blow for head coach Luis Enrique with Barca aiming to close the gap on their fierce rivals, with Madrid three points ahead with a game in hand ahead of the contest at Santiago Bernabeu.