Gerard Pique has apologised after being sent off during Barcelona's Spanish Super Cup second leg final against Athletic Bilbao on Monday but insists he did not insult the official.
The Spanish defender was shown a straight red and faces a lengthy ban after being sent off for insulting a linesman during the encounter at the Camp Nou that finished 1-1, with Athletic winning the first title of the new campaign 5-1 on aggregate.
Referee Velasco Carballo's official report stated that Pique used foul and abusive language when shouting at the assistant, an action that could see the Barca star being slapped with as much as a 12-match ban.
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"I want to apologise in the manner in which I protested towards the linesman, it was not correct," Pique wrote on his twitter account. "It was a game with a lot of pressure in which we were playing for a title.
"However, at no time did I insult him."
Barcelona have confirmed they will appeal the red card, with the club also denying Pique used the words as reported by the referee.
A statement from Barcelona read: "FC Barcelona have presented arguments against the red card shown to Gerard Pique in the 58th minute of the game against Athletic Club in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
"The argument put forward is that the player did not address the referee's assistant in the terms included by referee Velasco Carballo in his subsequent report."
Pique is expected to miss Barca's opening 2015-16 La Liga match against Athletic on Sunday evening, as well as games against Malaga, a clash at Atletico Madrid and a home match game against Levante on September 20.
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