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Mascherano faces possible four-match ban

FC Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano faces the prospect of a four-match ban after being sent off towards the end of a 3-1 win at home to Eibar in a La Liga match.

Mascherano was sent off by Madrid based referee De Cerro Grande on Sunday for apparently insulting his linesman in graphic terms, using an Argentinean term ‘La concha de tu madre’ after his failure to give a foul in Barcelona’s favour, Xinhua reported.  The strong words when translated directly can be taken to mean something like “son of a bitch,” and similar to the words which saw Gerard Pique sent off and punished with a four-game ban during the return leg of the Spanish Supercup this football season.

Speaking after the game, which Barcelona won thanks to a hat-trick from Luis Suarez, chief coach Luis Enrique defended Mascherano, who is one of his key players, arguing that when he had sworn, “he wasn’ t talking about the referee or the linesman,” and asked the officials to be more flexible in their inter pretation of the rules.
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