Koeman says ban would've been 20 games if he'd said something as Barcelona appeal two-match suspension

The Blaugrana boss has been sanctioned over alleged abuse of a fourth official, but he maintains that he did nothing wrong

Ronald Koeman continues to refute the allegations of abusing a fourth official that have landed him a two-match ban, with the Barcelona boss claiming he would have been ruled out for 20 games if he had actually said something.

The Dutchman has been stung with a touchline suspension after being sent from the dugout during a 2-1 La Liga defeat for his side against Granada.

Koeman was quick to plead his innocence in the wake of that red card, with Barca in the process of appealing a sanction that is set to keep their coach in the stands for meetings with Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

What has been said?

Koeman said of his ban: "We’re going to appeal this decision because I think it’s an exaggerated suspension. 

"All I said was ‘what a character’ and I got a two-match ban. If I’d insulted him more heavily I think it would have been 20 games. 

"We will appeal this decision to show we don’t agree with it. Tomorrow I won’t be on the bench but in the stadium but we’ve talked with the technical staff and we are prepared."

Can Barca end the season as champions?

Antoine Griezmann Lionel Messi Villarreal vs Barcelona La Liga 2020-21

A frustrating setback against Granada has left Barca with work to do in order to recapture the Liga title.

They are sat third in the table as things stand, with five fixtures left to take in, and Koeman believes a faultless run from this point will be enough to land more silverware.

He added on the challenges facing his troops: "As a coach, I am always responsible when setting up the team, when you make changes and also in the game. 

"It is a great opportunity that we have missed but I am convinced that if we win the last five games, we will be champions.

"We need to recognise this is a very strong competition with good teams. The league is so strong because we can see that four teams have a chance to win the title, only three points separate us. 

"All the big teams have so many matches, and we have a lot of players injured as well. 

"You need to be 100% in every match, 100% focused, and if you miss things you pay the price. That’s also the beautiful thing this season, there’s not one team that's completely superior.

"These are games where everyone has options to win and if you don’t then you lose points."

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