Barca’s Roberto gets 4-game ban for Clasico hit

Barcelona defender Sergi Roberto has been banned four games by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after he was sent off for striking Real Madrid’s Marcelo during El Clasico on Sunday.

Roberto will miss Barca’s final three La Liga games — Wednesday’s clash with Villarreal at the Camp Nou, as well as matches against Levante and Real Sociedad — and the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla in August. A source told ESPN FC that Barcelona will appeal the length of the suspension.

Referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez wrote in his report that Roberto was dismissed for “striking an opposition player with his arm, using excessive force.”

As tempers flared at the end of the first half, the Barca right-back tangled with Marcelo and hit him in the neck out of frustration. The RFEF decided on Wednesday to hand him a four-game ban and a €3,005 fine, while Barca have been fined €1,400.

Nelson Semedo, who came on for Philippe Coutinho at half-time, will fill in at right-back for the remainder of the season. Barca have already wrapped up the La Liga title and are now targeting an unbeaten season. Ernesto Valverde’s side are unbeaten in 35 league games — and 42 including the end of last season — and are attempting to become the first side to end a 38-game campaign in Spain’s top flight without losing a match.