Holds Lewandowski’s 3-game suspension cut

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A Spanish sports court on Wednesday upheld the three-match suspension of Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, leaving him out of Sunday’s Spanish league match against Atletico Madrid.

A Court of Arbitration lifted the suspension after Barcelona filed an appeal. The Polish striker played the match that tied the weekend 1-1 against Espanyol.

Espanyol subsequently contested the remainder of the derby, claiming they were harmed by the Madrid court’s unexpected decision to temporarily lift the suspension.

Lewandowski was sent off for consecutive yellow cards in the league game at Osasuna on November 8. Initially one game was suspended, but the Federation’s competition committee later added another two games to the suspension due to what they called “a lack of respect” by the player towards the referee after his expulsion.

Referee Gil Manzano wrote in the match report that Lewandowski pointed twice at his nose before sticking his thumb at the referee in a gesture Manzano interpreted as disrespect. Lewandowski assured that the gesture was directed at the coach and not the referee.

Lewandowski will miss the league matches against Getafe and Girona. He will be able to play the Super Cup matches next week.

Barcelona is tied on points with Real Madrid at the top of the table after 15 games.

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