Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has claimed is not "down to him" to analyse whether former Liverpool star Luis Suarez deserved a ban for his behaviour after the Copa del Rey game against Espanyol – just minutes before the club confirmed the striker had been given a two-game suspension.
The Spanish manager tried to calm the tension over the meeting with Espanyol in order to bury the hatchet with their local rivals and move forward ahead of the La Liga game against Granada on Saturday (9 January).
Suarez has been banned for two games by the Spanish football federation after referee Martinez Munuera reported that the former Liverpool striker was responsible for sparking a spat between Espanyol and Barcelona players in the aftermath of the midweek game, while shouting at their rivals: 'I'm waiting for you, come here! You're a waste of space."
Questioned just prior to the decision of the Spanish football federation whether Suarez should be banned, Enrique said, as quoted by Marca: "That isn't down to me."
Asked whether bans should be dealt in a different way in Spain, he replied: "Every country has its own way of doing things. Football wouldn't be football without the controversy. That's just the way the game is."
The manager, meanwhile, tried to avoid further questions about the bad-tempered game with Espanyol.
"I live in the present and that's Granada. The best way to ease tension is by not talking about it," he said.
The La Liga giants host Granada in search for victory following last weekend's goalless draw with Espanyol. The manager will have plenty of options to form his line-up, as Sergi Roberto is available, while also Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are ready to play after the summer signing duo made their debuts during the midweek Copa del Rey game.
"Sergi Roberto is available and doing great," he confirmed. When asked about his plans for Arda and Vidal, he said: "They have to up their performances, just like the rest of their team-mates. The team did really well in their absence and their stats are there to prove it. There's a lot of competition for places now they're in the squad."