Barcelona preparing argument to reduce potential Lionel Messi ban

The Catalan club will fight the length of the suspension if it is successive

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Pending the Competition Committee's decision on Lionel Messi's ban for his red card in the Spanish Supercopa final, Barcelona are working on an argument to try and reduce the suspension the Argentine is given.

Gil Manzano sent Messi off in the 120th minute of the game against Athletic Club after he swung an arm at Asier Villalibre after being fouled.

In his post-match report, Gil Manzano wrote: "In the 120th minute, the player (10) Messi Cuccittini, Lionel Andres was sent off for the following reason: Hitting an opponent with his arm using excessive force with the ball in play but not within distance to be played."

The judge of the Competition Committee, Carmen Perez, will have to decide the sanction: if considered a serious infraction, it could be a four-game ban. If considered light, it would be at most two games.

Barça will argue that there was no aggression, given that images from the front show Messi did not deliberately strike Villalibre but threw his arm out because the Athletic player was blocking his path.

In fact, in the game, Gil Manzano didn't see any aggression at all. He only sent Messi off after being informed of the incident by VAR and reviewing the play on the pitch side monitor.

It was Messi's first red card as a Barça player.

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