Barca's Pique could face ban for referee criticism


MADRID (AP) -- Barcelona defender Gerard Pique's one-game ban for being sent off against Sporting Gijon in the Spanish league could be extended after accusing the referee of targeting him.

The Spain international was dismissed in the 3-1 win on Saturday, and later claimed referee Carlos Velasco Carballo's decision was premeditated because he had had criticized the official at halftime.

Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, who heads Spain's referees committee, calls Pique's words "unfortunate and serious" and says his organization will present a case to the Spanish football federation's disciplinary committee.

Pique will miss Sunday's game at Racing Santander.

Three-time defending champion Barcelona trails Spanish leader Real Madrid by 10 points.