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'Flagrant injustice' - Espanyol launch official complaint over Lewandowski's involvement in Barcelona derby

18:01 WAT 02/01/2023
Robert Lewandowski Barcelona 2022-23
Espanyol have filed a complaint to the Spanish Football Federation over Robert Lewandowski's eligibility in the Barcelona derby on December 31.
  • Espanyol file complaint with RFEF
  • Lewandowski started for Barcelona in derby
  • Espanyol claim involvement is 'flagrant injustice'

WHAT HAPPENED? Lewandowski was cleared to feature in Barcelona's derby with Espanyol just 24 hours before the game kicked off on December 31, with his three-match ban being suspended due to the Blaugrana continuing their appeal to have it overturned. Espanyol released a statement criticising the decision ahead of the game, and have since released another, although this time it's more damning.

WHAT THEY SAID: A statement published on the club's official website reads: "RCD Espanyol has filed a complaint with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to challenge the match against FC Barcelona, ​​corresponding to the 15th LaLiga, for improper alignment.

"Before the start of the match, the club notified in good faith both the referee of the match, Mr. Mateu Lahoz, and the RFEF itself about the presence in the rival eleven of footballer Robert Lewandowski, who had to serve a sanction after being sent off for a double yellow in the previous day of the national championship.

"RCD Espanyol, as announced on the eve of the match, will use all the resources at its disposal to defend its interests and that of our fans, aware that this flagrant injustice puts the essence of our competition at risk and that this injustice is based on a hasty resolution and with obvious legal deficiencies."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Polish forward was handed a three-match ban following Barcelona's final La Liga game before the World Cup break, after being sent off against Osasuna for accumulating two yellow cards inside 30 minutes in an eventual 2-1 victory. The typical one-match ban was extended as a result of Lewandowski's attitude towards officials, which he believed was unnecessary.

While Barcelona scraped a victory against Osasuna, they were unable to do so in their derby with Espanyol on New Year's Eve, being held to a 1-1 draw in a frantic contest.

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WHAT NEXT FOR LEWANDOWSKI? While Barcelona await the outcome of Lewandowski's ban and whether or not it will be reduced, they now also have to worry about any potential knock-on effect from their neighbours' complaint.