Barca to appeal Final bans
Barcelona are to lodge an appeal with UEFA in a bid to have suspended duo Dani Alves and Eric Abidal available for the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United. As things stand, the two defenders will miss the 27 May showpiece after incurring bans during the semi-final second leg against Chelsea, with Abidal being shown a red card after being adjudged to have tripped Nicolas Anelka and Alves picking up a yellow for an aerial challenge on Ashley Cole.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola confirmed they would be trying to overturn those sanctions though, saying: "Of course we'll appeal the cards against Abidal and Alves out of respect for them."
Final opponents United have also written to UEFA asking them to quash the red card shown to midfielder Darren Fletcher during their semi-final second leg against Arsenal. Fletcher was dismissed following a challenge inside the area on Cesc Fabregas even though he got the ball first, and Guardiola believes the United man should also be allowed to play.
Although there is no appeals process, United have been in contact with UEFA pleading Fletcher's case on compassionate grounds, and European football's governing body confirmed on 8 May that they will decide the midfielder's fate at a meeting on 11 May.