The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) has rejected Barcelona's appeal against a four-match ban imposed on goalkeeper Victor Valdes for verbally abusing a referee after this month's 2-1 La Liga reverse at Real Madrid.
Valdes, who has already missed last weekend's league win against Deportivo La Coruna, will be unavailable for the leaders for Sunday's match against eighth-placed Rayo Vallecano and games against strugglers Real Mallorca and Celta Vigo.
The Spain international confronted referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa after he waved away Barca's appeals for a late penalty following an apparent trip on Adriano by Real defender Sergio Ramos.
Perez Lasa wrote in his match report that Valdes, who had to be restrained by team mates and club officials, had continued his furious protests in the tunnel.
"The appeals committee has on Friday rejected Barca's appeal and the four-match sanction given to Victor Valdes stands," the club said in a statement on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).
Valdes's next appearance, if selected, will be in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris St Germain on April 2.
Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images