Neymar picked up a red card in a La Liga match against Málaga a couple of weeks ago, then made sarcastic gestures towards the referee. That earned him an extra three-match ban, which should cause him to miss El Clásico against Real Madrid on Sunday. But Barcelona refuses to accept that decision, and they’re seemingly willing to do anything to get him cleared to play.
Barca appealed the suspension to the Spanish FA and had their appeal denied, which is usually the end of these things. Instead, the Blaugrana have decided to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They believe that by filing their appeal with CAS, Neymar will be able to play in El Clásico, because suspensions are not supposed to be enforced while appeals are pending.
Hilariously, Barcelona doesn’t actually want CAS to resolve the case quickly, because they know their appeal is frivolous. Neymar mocked the official, Barcelona knows he did, and suspensions like this one rarely get appealed to CAS. What they want is for CAS to acknowledge that they’ve received Barcelona’s appeal, then delay actually ruling on it until next week. That’s why they waited until after CAS met on Friday to bring the appeal to them.
Now Real Madrid has to plan for the game having no idea whether Neymar will be allowed to play. And they might be making some phone calls to ensure CAS calls a special session on Saturday, too.