Barcelona’s Uruguay forward Luis Suarez had his appeal against a two-match suspension rejected on Tuesday by the Spanish Football Federation’s appeals committee.
Suarez, 28, was banned for insults he directed at Espanyol players following Barcelona’s 4-1 win over their Catalan city rivals on January 5 after the first leg of a Copa del Rey last 16 clash.
According to referee Juan Martinez Munuera’s report from the Camp Nou, Suarez had waited for Espanyol players in the tunnel after the match where he repeatedly shouted at them: “Here I am waiting for you, come here; you are a waste of space.”
That provoked a clash between rival players that needed the intervention of stadium security to calm frayed nerves.
The match itself had been played in a fiery Camp Nou atmosphere between the local rivals.
Espanyol had two players sent off but were lucky to escape further punishment as goalkeeper Pau Lopez’s violent stamp on Lionel Messi went unseen.
The appeals committee insisted in a statement that Suarez’s actions had been “premeditated” and that he had “repeated provocative phrases and offensive terms several times”.
Suarez’s controversial career has seen him receive four long bans -- three for biting opponents and once for allegedly racially abusing French defender Patrice Evra during his time at Liverpool.