Napoli announced an appeal against “unjust” Gonzalo Higuain and Maurizio Sarri bans, hoping to have the striker against Roma.
Higuain received a four-match ban after his dismissal and furious reaction in the 3-1 defeat to Udinese on Sunday.
He was due a one-game suspension anyway for the two bookable offences, but placing his hands on the referee’s chest, insulting the official and having to be dragged away from the field by teammates and members of staff resulted in an extra three rounds.
“Napoli will present an appeal against the bans for Gonzalo Higuain and Maurizio Sarri, because we consider them unjust and in any case excessive,” read an official statement.
Coach Sarri was sent off for dissent and awarded a one-game touchline ban.
Higuain is set to miss matches against Verona, Inter, Bologna and above all the head-to-head for second place with Roma.
Napoli are lodging an appeal and hope to have the ban reduced to three games, which would at least get him place in place at the Stadio Olimpico on April 25.
There is a precedent for Napoli’s appeal and it’s represented by Borja Valero, who was given a four-match ban for placing his hand on the referee’s shoulder after a red card in Parma-Fiorentina.
The Viola got the ban reduced to three thanks to video evidence showing the hand on the referee was not done with any force or particular aggression.
If Higuain – and Borja Valero – had been found guilty of an aggressive push on the official, it would’ve been at least an eight-round ban.
There is one concern, as in the Borja Valero original statement from the Disciplinary Commission it read he had “pushed” the referee, something the video evidence suggested was closer to a placement of hands.
With Higuain’s statement, he “placed both hands on the referee’s chest,” so video evidence really would not show any different.