Barcelona still campaigning for Neymar to play clasico
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 23, 2017 11:36 AM
Barcelona's Neymar gestures during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona will campaign for as long as possible to get the suspended Neymar playing against Real Madrid on Sunday in a clasico that will go a long way to deciding the Spanish league.
Spain's sports tribunal said on Saturday that while it had not yet had the opportunity to consider the appeal Barcelona lodged to challenge Neymar's suspension, that did not mean the striker was cleared to play.
Barcelona responded with a statement saying it was "still waiting for the sports tribunal's resolution to its appeal."
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on Saturday "we are ready to play with or without Neymar."
Friday's appeal to the sports tribunal came after Barcelona lost its first appeal to the Spanish football federation on Thursday.
Neymar was handed a two-game suspension for sarcastically applauding an assistant referee after being sent off on April 8 in a 2-0 loss at Malaga.
The two-match ban was in addition to the one-game suspension he was automatically required to serve for the red card. He has sat out one game so far.
For Madrid, the host will have Gareth Bale available after a right leg problem sidelined him for two matches.
"He'll be with us tomorrow and we'll have to wait and see whether or not he plays," coach Zinedine Zidane said.
Two-time defending champion Barcelona trails Real Madrid by three points with six rounds to go in the Spanish league. Madrid, seeking its first league title since 2012, also has a game in hand.