thumbnail Hello,

Even though Real Madrid's Pepe has been admonished for accusing Jose Luis Paradas Romero of "robbery", the Blaugrana boss believes players have been getting off lightly of late

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola believes that defender Gerard Pique should have been banned for recent comments he made about Carlos Velasco Carballo, but claims that both La Liga's Competition Committee and the Referee Technical Committee have shown such weakness on a consistent basis that they are no longer in a position to punish such outbursts.

The Spain international had provoked outrage by suggesting that his dismissal against Sporting Gijon earlier this month had been "premeditated", arguing that he had paid the price for rowing with match official Carballo over a penalty decision which had gone against the Blaugrana earlier in the game.

Pique, though, avoided any further punishment for his red card, other than the mandatory one-game ban, and Guardiola, in spite of Pepe's two-game ban for accusing Jose Luis Paradas Romero of "robbery" after Real Madrid's midweek draw with Villarreal, believes that the Competition Committee and the Referee Technical Committee have effectively backed themselves into a corner by not taking a strong enough stance on such matters of late.

“It’s been a while now that the committees haven’t demanded respect," the Barca coach mused during his press conference after Saturday night's victory at Mallorca.

"We’re at a point where everything is too suspicious. There are too many things that they’ve let pass, and in the end they haven’t made themselves respected.

"Gerard [Pique], with what he said, probably deserved a ban. But they don’t do it, of course, because if there’s another player that says that his team was robbed, they’d have to ban him too.

"This has been going on for a while, and they [the committee] urgently need to re-establish respect."

After their 2-0 triumph in Mallorca, Barca now turn their attention to the Champions League and Wednesday night's meeting with AC Milan at San Siro.