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    'Unlucky' Barcelona to appeal Pique red card

    Barcelona: Barcelona will appeal against the red card shown to Gerard Pique in Saturday's La Liga match against Sporting Gijon, a club spokesman said on Monday.

    Pique was shown what appeared from television replays to be a harsh straight red early in the second half of the 3-1 win at the Nou Camp, when he tangled with Gijon's Miguel de las Cuevas on the edge of the Barca area.

    The Spain international was quoted as saying in local media that the referee's decision looked to have been pre-meditated because he had had criticized the official at half-time, comments condemned by the head of the referees' technical committee, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, who said he would be making a formal complaint.

    Arminio called Pique's words "unfortunate and serious" and said his organization will present a case to the Spanish football federation's disciplinary committee.

    If successful, Pique's one-game ban for being sent off could be extended.

    Toni Freixa, spokesman for Barca's board of directors, told a news conference the club had "not been having much luck" with refereeing decisions this season.

    They had also written to the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) to ask under what circumstances the head of the referees committee is able to make formal complaints to the federation's disciplinary committee.

    Sanchez Arminio's comments, made to Spanish radio and television broadcasters, were "an opportunistic show for the benefit of the media that provoke discriminatory treatment in a top-level competition," Freixa said.

    Pique will miss Sunday's game at Racing Santander. Three-time defending champions Barcelona trail Spanish leaders Real Madrid by 10 points.

    The world, European and Spanish champions had also decided not to attend Tuesday's soccer federation (RFEF) general assembly, Freixa added.

    The club are upset that their request to stage May's King's Cup final at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium, supported by their opponents Athletic Bilbao, has not been granted.

    Real have said the arena, Spain's second biggest after the Nou Camp, is unavailable because of planned building work.

    La Liga