UEFA dismiss El Clasico protests

UEFA has dismissed protests lodged by Real Madrid and Barcelona in the wake of their fiery Champions League semi-final first-leg.Pep Guardiola’s side took a 2-0 win away from the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in a game marred by red cards to Real Madrid defender Pepe and manager Jose Mourinho, as well as Barcelona reserve goal-keeper Jose Pinto.

Real Madrid appealed against the red card handed to Pepe for his challenge on Dani Alves, and also accused Barcelona’s players of provoking the defender throughout the match.

But the governing body dismissed the protests, meaning Pepe will be banned for the return leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

“In the case of the behaviour of the FC Barcelona players, it was deemed that there was no common strategy to provoke the Real Madrid CF player, while in the case of Pepe, the referee’s factual decision is upheld,” a UEFA statement read.

Barcelona lodged a complaint against Mourinho for his post-game comments, in which the Portuguese manager claimed there was a conspiracy against his side.

“No one has any chance against Barca. Where does all this power come from? To win like this is very nasty,” Mourinho said after the match.

“Why do the opponents of Barcelona always have a man sent off? Where does this power come from? Maybe it is to give more publicity to UNICEF, maybe because of the power of (Spanish federation president Jose Angel) Villar in UEFA.”

But UEFA dismissed Barcelona’s complaint because Mourinho is already set to face the Control and Disciplinary Body on Friday to explain his comments.

“In this instant, FC Barcelona have been referred to the proceedings already brought against Jose Mourinho,” the statement said.

Both clubs have three days to appeal the decisions.