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Pique banned and asked to explain comments

sports Updated: Mar 07, 2012 21:54 IST

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has been banned for one match following his dismissal against Sporting Gijon at the weekend, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Wednesday.

The RFEF have also asked the Spanish international for his version of events, after he claimed the referee sent him off because he had asked the official why his teammate, Seydou Keita, had not been awarded a penalty earlier in the game.

"The competition committee has asked Pique to give us his version of events on what happened during Barca-Sporting Gijon and he must do so within five days," an RFEF spokesperson told AFP.

Once the committee has received Pique's version of events, they will decide whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the player.

Pique was sent off for a last-man foul on Miguel De Las Cuevas in the 47th minute of Barca's 3-1 win over Sporting Gijon, which kept them 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid in second place.

"At half-time, I asked the referee why he hadn't given a penalty for a foul on Keita and he remembered it," said Pique after the match.

"I got the feeling that there was premeditation."

Barcelona sent a letter defending Pique to the RFEF, but the competition committee nonetheless decided to punish him with a one-match ban and a 600 euros ($786) fine.

Pique will therefore miss Barca's next match, a league game at Racing Santander on Sunday.