The crisis at FC Barcelona keeps getting worse. Apart from a dismal string of results in the past week, they will now have to play their next two La Liga matches without manager Ronald Koeman barking orders from the sidelines.
The Dutch manager was sent off during the Blaugrana's goalless draw against Cadiz on Thursday, and the Competition Committee has taken further action by sanctioning the manager. He has been slapped with a a 2-match ban, which will see him miss games against Levante and reigning champions Atletico Madrid.
The last thing that Barcelona need at the moment is to play matches without their manager. Not only that, Frenkie de Jong will also be suspended for the match against Levante after picking up a second yellow card in the second half against Cadiz. In fact, it was the incident with De Jong that fired up Koeman in the first place.
He protested to the fourth official when the player was sent off, and he continued to question the officials as the match went on. "Koeman protested to the fourth official ostensibly, with his arms raised, shouting and leaving his technical area to say: 'The referee has to blow up, he has to blow, come on, he has to blow!', having previously been warned by the fourth official to stop protesting refereeing decisions," read the official report.
The club insisted that Koeman remained respectful to the referee, but according to Marca, their arguments were rejected under Article 120 of the Disciplinary Code for protests to the referee, assistant referees or the fourth official.
To add insult to injury, Barcelona were also unsuccessful in their attempt to appeal De Jong's second yellow card. Likewise, the Competition Committee also upheld another yellow card shown to Sergio Busquets.
The club will be going into their next matches with a significant handicap, and it remains to be seen if they will be able to find a way to get through the situation. It is still early in the season and being seven points behind leaders Real Madrid may look bad, but it's not too late to turn things around. However, they have just dug a deeper hole for themselves which will be harder to get out of.