Barcelona star Pique apologises over red card rant
Reuters, Wednesday 19 Aug 2015

Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique has apologised for being sent off in Monday's Spanish Super Cup second leg at home to Athletic Bilbao but denied insulting the linesman.

With Barca attempting to overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first leg and leading 1-0 on the night, Spain international Pique was shown a straight red card 10 minutes into the second half at the Nou Camp.

Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo acted after Pique strode angrily up to the linesman and yelled in his face and Velasco Carballo wrote in his match report that the player had used insulting language.

Bilbao levelled the score on the night to make it 1-1 16 minutes from time and secure a 5-1 aggregate success.

"I want to apologise because the attitude with which I protested to the assistant referee was not the correct one," Pique wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

"It was a very tense match with a lot at stake," he added. "However, at no point did I direct any insult towards him."

The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) is expected to announce Pique's punishment on Wednesday and, despite the apology, he is likely to be banned for several matches.

Barca begin their bid for a sixth La Liga title in eight years at Bilbao on Sunday.

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