Espanyol have called the decision to postpone the suspension of Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski a “gross injustice”.
Lewandowski was sacked for two penalties in Barça’s last game before the World Cup break in November, a 2-1 win over Osasuna.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) initially suspended Lewandowski for three matches over an alleged gesture he made to referee Jesús Gil Manzano, but his punishment was delayed last week following a complaint to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Lewandowski was thus able to play in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, a fiery match in which referee Antonio Mateu Laos showed 17 yellow cards, including one to Barça manager Xavi, sending off Jordi Alba and Vinicius Souza.
Despite Espanyol stating the importance of their attempt to avoid relegation, they disputed Lewandowski’s right to play.
21 – FC Barcelona failed to win a game after making 20+ shots in La Liga 2022/23 (21) for the second time since against Rayo Vallecano last August (21). Jam. pic.twitter.com/Kn7tt20Xfr
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 31, 2022
A statement on the club’s website read: Espanyol filed a complaint with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to contest the match against Barcelona due to an incorrect alignment.
“Before the start of the match, the club informed referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz in good faith, as well as the RFEF itself, of the presence of Robert Lewandowski in the eleven opponents, who was to serve a penalty after being sent off for a double yellow card in the previous league game.
Espanyol, as announced on the eve of the match, will use all the resources at its disposal to protect its interests and the interests of our fans, knowing that this egregious injustice jeopardizes the essence of our competition, and that this injustice is based on a hasty decision with clear legal shortcomings.
Lewandowski was unable to find a net against Diego Martinez’s men, although he was involved in one notable incident where Leandro Cabrera was shown a red card for appearing to stomp on an attacker, although Laos reversed the decision after a VAR check.
Any suspension for Lewandowski would be a major blow to Barca as the Polish striker has scored 13 goals in 15 La Liga games.
On Wednesday, Barcelona will visit third-tier side Intercity in the Copa del Rey, then face Atlético Madrid in La Liga and play Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup.